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A FACSIMILE REPRODUCTION 



THE LIFE AND SERVICES 



OF 



GEN. BEN McCULLOCH 



BY 



VICTOR M. ROSE. 



Philadelphia : 
Pictorial Bureau oe the Press. 



THE STECK COMPANY • PUBLISHERS • AUSTIN, TEXAS 



R01351 55311 



1958 Facsimile Reproduction of the First Edition 

THE STECK COMPANY 

Austin, Texas 



72 P 550 15 



detocation. 



*7|Y affords me a heartfelt pleasure to be able to testify to the 
gratitude which I entertain for Col. M. S. Munson for his 
great kindness and uniform friendship, by dedicating to him 
this simple narrative of the life of Ben McCulloch ; and in 
doing so I feel that I could not more appropriately consign the 
sponsorial charge. 

Uigto^ £Q. F£ose. 

Columbia, Tex., May, 1888. 




MA J. B. McCULLOCH. 




COL. M. S. MUNSON. 



THE LIFE AND SERVICES 



DF- 



Lr 



en. Ben McCulloch, 



CHAPTER I 



The McCulloch family are doubtless of Scotch-Irish 
.descent, to which happy assimilation the United States is 
indebted for very many of the great men, statesmen, soldiers, 
and publicists, who have illustrated its brief though credit- 
able annals. Henry Eustace McCulloch,* great, great uncle 
of the remarkable brothers whose career forms the subject 
of the following pages, was a barrister at law, and also an 
officer in the royal military service, and was the recipient of 
an annual pension of six hundred pounds sterling, in recog- 
nition of his gallant conduct at the battle of Carthagena, he 
having been the first to mount the wall. 

General H. E. McCulloch has in his possession two heir- 
looms of the old worthy, handed down from generation to 
generation, one being a sword, bearing his initials on the 
hilt, and the other a law book, entitled, "Actions upon the 
case of Deeds vs. Contracts, Assumpsits, Deceipts, Nuis- 
ances, Trover and Conversion, Delivery of Goods, etc." 
This book was published in the year 1675, and on the title 
page is written, "Henry Eustace McCulloch, of Middle 
Temple, 1756." 

Henry Eustace, and his brother Benjamin, were Irish 
patriots, — the love of the "ould durt" proving stronger than 



26 THE LIFE AND SERVICES 

his Majesty's gracious pension ; and were forced to leave their 
native land, after the loss of all their possessions, and reached 
Virginia, in which dominion they settled, some time previous 
to the Revolutionary war, with but a few dollars in money, 
and a stock of goods consisting of eleven Irish blankets. It 
is supposed that Benjamin brought his wife with him, and that 
their son Ben, grandfather of Generals Ben and Henry, was 
born soon after their arrival in the New World. Benjamin 
married Mary Stokes, a sister of Governor Stokes, of North 
Carolina ; from which union were four children, Alexander, 
Benjamin, Elizabeth and Mary. The daughters married respec- 
tively Mr. Boylan, Mr. Williams. At the death of Mr. 
McCulloch, which occurred at about the majority of his son 
Alexander, his estate, consisting of money, plantations, negroes 
and unimproved lands, lying principally within the present 
limits of the state of Tennessee, was valued at $100,000. 
Alexander married Miss Frances LeNoir, of Virginia, the 
daughter of a planter and slave owner, and related to the 
Harpers and Fishers of that Commonwealth, and whose sur- 
name, without doubt, bespeaks a French origin. Alexander 
and his brother, Ben, removed to Tennessee, and the latter for 
many years resided at Nashville. Major Alexander McCulloch 
served as an aid-de-camp to General Coffee, under General 
Andrew Jackson, in the Creek war, and against the British in 
the campaigns of 18 12-15, m tne states of Alabama, Georgia 
and Florida, and participated with signal gallantry in the battle 
of New Orleans, where the "backwoods" riflemen triumphed 
over the victors of Waterloo. Of him the Encyclopaedia of 
the New West says: " He was a graduate of Yale College, and 
was one of the stern men of his day ; with great decision of 
character, and energy in whatever he undertook ; " and General 
H. E. McCulloch also says : " He was very much such a man 
as my brother Ben, in all respects, save one; he was not an 
economist, and loved to spend money on his friends. His 
generosity was also abused by some, upon whose bonds he had 
signed as a surety ; through all of which his estate was so much 
wasted that he found it impossible to meet the expenses neces- 
sary in securing an education to his younger children, a mis- 



of gen. Mcculloch. 27 

fortune fully appreciated by him, as no one better knew the 
value of an education. The sterling character of the man is 
portrayed in an obituary, written by Rev. G. W. D. Harris, 
who was for many years a presiding elder in the Methodist 
Episcopal Church, South, a neighbor and intimate personal 
friend of Major McCulloch, and which appeared in the Nash- 
ville Christian Advocate: "It is with mournful pleasure that I 
announce to you, and the readers of your journal, the death 
of my old, well-tried friend, Major Alexander McCulloch. 
His death took place in Dyer County, Tennessee, on the night 
of the 4th August, 1846, after an illness of three weeks, during 
which period his sufferings were extreme. It, however, pleased 
a gracious Providence to favor him all the time with the 
exercise of his reason ; and being confident, as he often stated 
during his illness, that his sickness would be unto death, he 
deliberately arranged his temporal affairs, set his house in order, 
and waited the summons of the Lord, in the comforting assur- 
ance of a gracious immortality. His religion was both experi- 
mental and practical, uniting the power with the form of 
godliness. In the person of Major McCulloch, grace achieved 
much ; for by nature he was not only high-minded, but a high- 
tempered, impetuous, stern man, whose heart was never assailed 
by the passion of fear. But grace subdued the lion, and gave 
a happy direction to that energetic mind, bringing all into 
captivity to the obedience of Christ. As a neighbor, he was 
kind ; as a friend, he was sincere ; as a husband, he was affec- 
tionate ; as a parent and a master, he was tender. But that 
which shed a serene lustre upon his whole 4ife was his unshirk- 
ing piety. He was born in Louenburg County, Virginia, 
August 16, 1777, and was happily converted to God in Alabama 
in 182 1. He soon after united himself with the Methodist 
Episcopal Church, and to the day of his death exercised the 
joint office of class leader and circuit steward ; and in the 
latter capacity he had but few equals and no superior; 
* * * and in his advanced age, bad weather, nor distance 
of place prevented his personal attendance at a quarterly 
meeting. Though I have been connected with him at different 
periods for the last fifteen years, I cannot remember a single 



28 THE LIFE AND SERVICES 

instance when he was not present at a quarterly meeting. 
His religion was not only of principle, but of feel- 
ing. Love governed his soul ; peace kept his heart ; and 
that sacred peace often kindled into holy joy, especially dur- 
ing his last affliction, as he frequently remarked that though 
his earthly tabernacle was fast dissolving, he had a better 
house above, eternal in the heavens. To say that he had no- 
faults, would be to deny that he was human ; but this we 
may safely affirm : that those who knew his faults knew also 
his many virtues. I yield to the truth of his death with a 
sorrowful heart, for I knew him well and loved him much. 
But that sorrow is greatly moderated by the comforting hope 
that I shall soon see him again in that house whose maker 
and builder is God." 

Such was the father ; and we will see that his sons inher- 
ited his strong individuality and force of character. He died,, 
alas, just as his son, incomparable Ben, was fairly com- 
mencing a career which will immortalize his name as long 
as manhood delights in the deeds of the pure, the brave, and 
patriotic. But the venerable mother was spared to rejoice 
over his triumphs, and, alas, to bedew his soldier grave with 
a mother's tears — the holiest, the purest offering that can be 
consecrated upon any shrine ! 

Ben McCulloch was born in Rutherford county, Ten- 
nessee, on the eleventh day of November, 1811, and his 
early life was, of course, passed in conformity to the circum- 
stances by which his pioneer station was surrounded. The 
facilities for obtaining an education were not then, as now, 
to be had in every neighborhood, without money and with- 
out price ; but, despite all obstacles, the sons of Major 
McCulloch received at home a knowledge of the rudiments,, 
when their own good sense and thirst for knowledge led 
them to explore the various repositories of information which, 
in the shape of books bound by the hands of man, and in the 
hidden chapters of Nature's volume, attracted their attention ; 
and certain it is, at least, that both Generals Ben and Henry 
E. McCulloch were (and the latter is at the present writing) 
educated gentlemen. 

The family of Major Alexander McCulloch consisted of 
the following sons : Alexander, who served in the Texian 



OF GEN. BEN McCULLOCH. 29 

army in 1836-7, and in the Mexican war of 1846-7, and was 
colonel of militia in Dyer county, Tennessee ; John S. was 
a captain in the quartermaster's department in the Confed- 
erate service; Samuel was a merchant at Florence, Ala., 
but died at the early age of twenty-three ; General Ben, the 
immediate subject of this memoir; James C, who was 
afflicted with rheumatism from early boyhood ; and Gen- 
eral Henry Eustace and the following daughters: Sarah 
Stokes married Albert Keeble, of Rutherford county, Ten- 
nessee, and died in Walker county, Texas, in 1849 ; Mary 
Annie married William L. Mitchell, of Rutherford county, 
Tennessee, and died in Gonzales county, Texas, in 1846 ; 
Frances Olivia married Charles Parish, of Weakly county y 
Tennessee, both of whom are deceased ; Harriet Maria mar- 
ried Nat Benton, a nephew of Senator Thomas H. Benton, 
and captain of a company of Texian rangers in 1855, and 
lieutenant-colonel of Wood's regiment of Texas cavalry in 
the Confederate service, in which he lost an arm. Col. Ben- 
ton and his wife are deceased. Elizabeth Julia married Rev. 
R. H. Tarrant, of Dyer county, Tennessee, deceased, and 
Adelaide Delia married Albert G. Pierce, of Dyer county, 
Tennessee, also deceased. 

At that period in Tennessee, the rural youth were almost 
wholly engaged in the necessary operations upon the farm, 
and found their principal diversion in hunting through the 
forests, over the hills and valleys, where deer, turkey, bear 
and other game abounded. Ben was a natural woodman, 
and though the sun might be obscured, or the north star hid 
behind clouds, never was at a loss as to the proper course to 
be pursued, and not infrequently was he appealed to by 
hunters older than himself to lead the way home. Some- 
times he accompanied on the hunt no less a personage than 
old Davy Crockett himself, and was the daily associate and 
companion of his sons. But, alas! the many exciting 
episodes of the chase, and humorous incidents by the camp- 
fire are lost, and we know enough of the comicalities of " Old 
Davy," and of the thoughtful, adventurous, but mirthful 
McCulloch, to appreciate the loss at something like its 
right value. 



30 THE LIFE AND SERVICES 

In the arduous and somewhat dangerous services which 
he was sometimes ' called upon to perform as a " flatboat- 
man," or in "rafting," he found opportunities for adding to 
the store of experience accumulated in the forest, on the 
banks of the streams where he poised the angle rod for bass 
and trout, and upon the farm. Some idea as to his attain- 
ments as a hunter may be formed when we learn that he 
generally killed as many as eighty bear in a single season, 
which with panthers, catamounts, deer, and smaller game 
not reckoned, one would imagine entitled him to rank almost 
as an equal of "Old Davy" himself. It was impossible, by 
reason of the depredations committed by the bear, to raise 
hogs, and hence the necessity for the war of extermination 
which was waged against bruin, upon whose wholesome flesh 
the hardy inhabitants largely subsisted. 

Major McCulloch moved to Alabama in 1820, and set- 
tled on the Tennessee river, at the Muscle Shoals. Here ten 
years of Ben's boyhood was passed, save one spent at school 
in his native State. As stated, he early developed a fond- 
ness for hunting and fishing, and at this early age became an 
expert in the management of canoes and in throwing the gig, 
scarcely ever missing a fish. As this was a new country, 
abounding in all sorts of game, it was the favorite winter 
resort of the Choctaw Indians, who also trapped beaver, 
otter, and muskrats on the river, Town Creek and Big 
Nance, two large creeks which emptied into the Tennessee, 
one above and the other below Ben's father's house. Ben 
soon became a great favorite with the Indians, and accom- 
panied them frequently in their hunting, fishing and trapping 
expeditions ; and with the thirst for knowledge which was 
always characteristic of him, was not long in being initiated 
into all the mysteries of their several avocations. Under 
their tuition he speedily became a successful trapper, and 
brought home as the trophies of his juvenile prowess, the 
pelts of muskrats, otter, and beaver. They taught him also 
how to make blow-guns, and bows and arrows, as well as 
how to use them, in which he quickly acquired such profi- 
ciency that there were no Indian boys of his own age who 
could compete with him, and none who could excel him in 
the use of these peculiar Indian implements. It seemed to 



OF GEN BEN McCULLOCH. 31 

afford the "warriors" great gratification when Ben would 
excel his Indian friends of his own age in shooting arrows at 
a mark, or in hurling the gig at fish. These diversions were 
often varied by engaging in foot-races, wrestling matches, 
etc., in all which "the little pale face" held his own. 

During this time, Ben, Mary Ann, Olivia and Harriet 
attended for two months a school taught by Mr. Prim, about 
three miles from home, the children walking to and fro. 
Henry, much younger, often insisted upon accompanying 
them, and as his strength was not sufficient for the exertion, 
generous-hearted Ben would take the little fellow upon his 
shoulders and thus bear him along. This feeling for his 
younger brother was never a stranger to his heart, and this 
narrative will show that Ben McCulloch, in the heat of battle, 
regardless of the risks he encountered himself, was always 
acutely concerned for the safety of Henry, and that he 
dreamed of no aggrandizement of his fortunes in which 
Henry was not to be a full sharer. The remarkable tie 
which bound these two stern, iron-willed men together, and 
rendered them inseparable through life, flowed from an 
impulse as soft and pure as ever moved a woman's heart, 
and had its origin right here in the roseate morning of their 
infantile existence. 

Upon more than one occasion Ben gave battle to larger 
boys whom he thought evinced a disposition to impose on 
his little brother, and so dexterous and strong was he, thanks 
to his Indian training, that it was seldom any youth near his 
own size had the hardihood to try conclusions with him. 
Another, and a more useful accomplishment which he 
acquired from his Choctaw friends, was the knowledge 
necessary to construct a canoe and to successfully pio :>el the 
same, and which became of great service to the family in the 
settlement of the sparsely inhabited region, or wilderness, of 
West Tennessee, to which Major McCulloch determined to 
remove. 

This occurred in the spring of 1830, and Ben, being the 
eldest son at home, was sent in charge of the ox-carts, con- 
taining most of the household furniture, the negroes and 
live stock, to their destination, while the family were to pro- 
ceed on a large flat-boat, such as were used at that time for 



32 THE LIFE AND SERVICES 

the transport of cotton and other produce to New Orleans, 
down the Tennessee, Ohio and Mississippi rivers to the 
mouth of the Forked Deer river, where a keel boat would be 
taken for the run up the latter stream, and which would land 
them within a mile of their purposed home. Major McCul- 
loch calculated on arriving some days in advance of Ben's 
party, and was not a little surprised to find Ben not only on 
the ground, but that he had selected the site for the dwelling 
house, which was near an excellent spring, and a suitable 
piece of ground for a farm. He had also caused a number 
of house logs to be cut, and informed his father that had he 
been sure he would have confirmed his selection of the site of 
their future home, he would have prepared a log house in 
time for the occupancy of the family. The selection was 
made in conformity to the most judicious views, and a man 
of experience and business knowledge could have done no 
better, and hence Ben's selection was not only confirmed, but 
he was warmly complimented for his discernment in making 
the same. The family located here within three miles oi 
Dyersburg, and the place became sacred in after years to the 
separated family as the "old homestead." A young sugar 
tree, under which Ben pitched his camp, and which he caused 
to be left standing in the yard, was for many years after 
called " Ben's tree." Left often in charge of the negroes, 
Ben controlled them by kindness, and himself leading the 
way in any work on hand, instead of "driving," as was the 
orthodox mode of the overseers, he thus became proficient 
in the use of tools, an accomplishment which stood him well 
in hand in after life. 

Dyersburg was some twenty miles from the Mississippi 
river, to which there was no road, the intervening space 
being covered by a forest of heavy timber, dense ca breaks, 
and interminable jungles of green briar, rattan and grap 
vines, and it would have been a herculean task to have cut a 
road with the few hands owned by Major McCulloch. There 
was no store nearer than the Key Corner, fifteen miles dis- 
tant, hence it was determined to build a large canoe, or 
"pirogue," as a means for transporting supplies from the 
Mississippi, and Ben undertook the job. A large yellow 
poplar tree supplied the material, and relying solely on his 



OF GEN BEN McCULLOCIL 33 

own resources, Ben, in a very short space, launched the best 
*' pirogue' ' which appeared on the river for years. He also 
constructed a smaller canoe, which he used in his hunting 
and trapping excursions on the Forked Deer, Obion and the 
lakes adjacent, in all of which the fur-bearing animals were 
plentiful. 

These expeditions, though enjoyed as excursions of 
pleasure, became a lucrative source of revenue, and Ben not 
only supported himself by the sale of pelts, but established a 
respectable cash balance as a reserve against a rainy day. 
Ben's rifle supplied the family with meat, which consisted of 
bear, deer, turkeys, etc., all of which in the proper sea- 
son were fat and juicy, and "bear bacon," dried deer hams, 
smoked tongues, etc., were stored away for the winter. He 
usually hunted alone and on foot, as it was impossible to 
move with any celerity on horseback through the dense 
woods ; and though he might shoot a bear or deer miles 
from home, so perfectly developed was his organ of locality 
that in returning with a horse upon which to fetch the carcass 
home, was never at a loss to find the exact spot. 

Upon one occasion, at this period, his dogs jumped a bear 
in a canebreak. The bear being young and lean, ran well, 
and was some distance when a single dog brought it to bay, 
the remainder of the pack having pursued another, which ran 
in a different direction. Ben came up and found the bear 
slowly climbing a tree on the bank of Coon creek, and at his 
sudden appearance it became frightened, and letting go his 
hold upon the trunk, tumbled from the tree into the water 
below, only ten or twelve inches deep. He attempted to 
shoot it, but discovered that the priming of his old flint lock 
had gotten damp in crossing the creek, and that the piece 
would not fire. Meantime the bear and dog were having an 
animated discussion in the water, decidedly to the disadvan- 
tage of the latter. Finally, bruin disengaged himself, proba- 
bly with the tacit consent of his antagonist, and climbed the 
steep bank so close to Ben that he caught it by the hair and 
pulled it back into the creek. It fell on its* back and the dog 
seized it. Ben drew his butcher knife and endeavored to kill 
the brute by a stab in its breast, but the blade struck his 



34 THE LIFE AND SER VICES 

breast-bone and glanced, inflicting but a slight wound. The 
bear caught his right arm in his mouth, at the wrist. Know- 
ing the tenacity of the animal, he did not attempt to disei. 
gage his arm from the crunching vice, but struck with the 
knife in his left hand, and drove the blade through its heart. 
Bruin dropped dead, but did not relax the terrible set of his 
iron jaws, and Ben was forced to pry them open to free him- 
self from the "determined" carcass. 

From the time the family reached West Tennessee, Ben 
ate no idle bread, always being engaged at something to 
advance his own interests or those of the family. Through 
the spring and summer Major McCulloch managed to supply 
the family with fresh meat and fish, while Ben spent the most 
of his time with the hands in improviug the place, extending 
the farm (which was a tedious and very laborious undertak- 
ing in that heavily timbered country) and cultivating the 
crop. He was a young man of remarkably steady habits, 
and spent the whole of his time at home when not hunting 
and trapping. He utilized all his leisure time in reading and 
studying the best books which his father's library afforded, in 
which Major McCulloch encouraged his son, but found it 
necessary to caution him in regard to the injurious effect to 
his eyes of poring over fine print late in the night, by the dim 
light of a tallow candle or "fire light." 

He not only studied at home, but when in camp cutting 
cypress logs, building fiat-boats, and making cypress pickets 
to raft down the Mississippi, while his companions would 
spend their evenings in conversation, relating anecdotes, etc., 
he would select some quiet nook, and by the dubious light of 
the camp fire, pore over the pages of some favorite author, 
and when he went to Texas it was generally conceded that 
Ben McCulloch was the best posted young man in the whole 
country, though there were many who had enjoyed privileges 
to which he was a stranger ; but while they had failed to 
improve the elementary training received in the schools, he 
had familiarized himself with all the various branches of 
knowledge essential to a liberal English education. He was 
also a close Bible student and a fixed believer in all its sub- 
lime truths, though he was never a communicant of any 
denomination or religious association. 



OF GEN BEN McCULLOCH. 35 

He remained contentedly at home, laboring like a loyal, 
affectionate son, seeking diversion and pocket money in hunt- 
ing, trapping, cutting raft logs, etc., until a quite respectable 
farm had been opened to cultivation, ample and comfortable 
house room secured, when, in the spring of 1832, he set out 
for Independence, Missouri, where he expected to meet the 
celebrated trapper, Dent, and spend a year or two with him 
on the Upper Mississipi and Missouri rivers, trapping and 
hunting, but to his great mortification and disappointment, 
when he reached his destination, Dent, with his party, had 
been gone several days, and he was forced to abandon this 
long and eagerly cherished adventure. But as he left home 
to be gone some time, he determined to turn his attention to 
the lead mines near Galena, where he labored and learned 
practically all about mining the ore, smelting, moulding and 
placing the lead into market, and returned home the next fall 
not only with this valuable addition to his store of knowl- 
edge, but all the money he had earned, save the necessary 
expense of his journey home. 

The latter portion of the fall of 1833, and early winter, he 
spent in cutting large cypress logs and in preparing to raft 
them down the Mississippi to market, when the river would 
overflow the bottoms the next spring. Hunting and trap- 
ping, as usual, afforded the means for recreation in unem- 
ployed times. His raft comprised one hundred logs, each 
forty feet long and not less than twenty-four inches in diam- 
eter at the smaller end. This he floated to the Obion river, 
and down it to the Mississippi, and down the "Father of 
Waters" to Natchez, where he sold it for a remunerative 
price, paid a flying visit to New Orleans, in order to see and 
examine the ground upon which had been fought the famous 
battle, in which his gallant father had borne so conspicuous a 
part, and where his mother's only brother, Lieut. John Peter- 
son Le Noir, received a wound of which he died, while lead- 
ing a detachment of his company as skirmishers against an 
advancing party of British, on the night ot the twenty-third 
of December preceding the battle of the eighth of January. 
He sought the unknown grave of his kinsman in vain, and 
the remains of that noble man and gallant soldier rest in some 



36 THE LIFE AND SERVICES 

spot now forgotten by the dwellers in the beautiful city which 
he died to save from the pillage and insult of the foe. 

William Crockett, second son of Col. David Crockett, 
was about Ben's age, and was a celebrated hunter of bear, 
deer and bees, and was at all times welcomed to the home 
of Major McCulloch, at which he spent a quite consid- 
erable portion of his time, and was Ben's constant companion 
in his hunting and trapping expeditions. From "Bill," as 
he was familiarly called, Ben learned the " bee hunter's " 
craft, and Bill was wont to say that Ben could see a bee at a 
greater distance and understood their habits better than any 
man he ever saw. 

Colonel Crockett's home was thirty miles distant, but as 
he and Major McCulloch were old friends, the families 
exchanged visits. There subsisted a very warm bond of 
friendship between young Ben McCulloch and the eccentric 
but large-hearted Colonel Crockett, which was the more 
strange by reason of the difference in their ages. It is well 
known that Colonel Crockett had enjoyed no educational 
opportunities in his youth, and that he had not only attained 
to manhood in this state of mental uncultivation, but had 
entered public life when made to feel the great want of 
knowledge ; and he sought every source attainable which 
promised a single draught to quench his mental thirst. He 
had found Ben a student, and consequently well posted in 
history, and it was his greatest pleasure to draw him out upon 
whatever particular subject he might be at the time wishing 
to have elucidated ; and thus (though unconscious of the fact 
at the time) did Ben indirectly teach the great backwoods 
commoner. 

After Colonel Crockett became a member of Congress, 
spending the winters in Washington, his return .home in the 
spring or summer was looked to, by the young people espe- 
cially, as the commencement of a season of fun and frolic, 
which he invariably inaugurated by giving a barbecue, to 
which everybody was invited ; and it always proved a day of 
enjoyment to older persons as well as the young. These 
latter often continued the festival for two or three days in 
fiddling and dancing and such other amusements as they 
could devise for the mutual enjoyment of both sexes. In all 



OF GEN. BEN McCULLOCH. 37 

these "Old Davy" was always ready to bear a hand, and 
always contributed much to the entertainment by drawing 
upon his inexhaustible fund of anecdote and his inimitable 
powers of mimicry. 

Once on his return from the national capital he brought 
one of the finest finished "half-stocked" rifles that had ever 
been manufactured in the United States, which had been pre- 
sented him by the young men of Philadelphia, with an inscrip- 
tion inlaid in gold letters, extending from the breach to the 
muzzle: "Presented by the young men of Philadelphia to 
David Crockett, of Tennessee. ''Be sure you are right, and 
then go ahead r " The stock was made of the handsomest 
cured sugar maple which could be procured, and was almost 
entirely covered with devices and ornaments in gold and 
silver. The sights, though of good material, were so clum- 
sily made as to prove wholly unreliable, and "Old Davy" 
handed it to Ben McCulloch one day, saying, "The gun- 
smiths of Philadelphia know how to make a fine gun, but 
are not up to the requirements necessary in regard to the very 
important matter of sights. I want you to take it, Ben, to 
our friend Long's shop, make a new hind-sight and file down 
the fore one properly, and if her inside is as roughly done as 
the sights, she will need a thorough cutting out. Examine 
her thoroughly ; take Bill with you to assist in dressing her 
up, and, if it is in her, make her centre fire before you ccme 
back." 

As the country settled, it became a practice to have Satur- 
day squirrel-hunts, or fish-fries, at which the hunters and 
marksmen of the neighborhood would meet and spend the day 
sociably and in shooting for prizes, which oftenest consisted 
of beef, though small purses of money also came into vogue. 
Competitors were taxed in sums ranging from ten cents to a 
half dollar. In the shooting matches for beef, some one of 
the neighbors would bring a beef upon the ground, which 
was appraised. There were six prizes — the two hams con- 
stituting the first and second, the shoulders the third and 
fourth, the hide and tallow the fifth, while the balls shot into 
the tree against which the target had been placed was the 
sixth prize. Upon these occasions no intoxicating spirits were 
tolerated, and that degrading vice — curse of a leprous distill- 



28 THE LIFE AND SER VICES 

merit — was almost unknown among the virtuous and hardy 
pioneers of West Tennessee. 

In early' life Major McCulloch had been quite a hunter 
and marksman, and possessed two guns of the manufacture 
of the celebrated Bean, one of which he used for hunting, 
and the other (a very heavy barrel) as a target rifle ; and by 
practice with this gun, his six sons who attained to manhood, 
became crack shots, Ben being considered rather the best, 
though the McCulloch boys were widely known for unerring 
execution with the rifle, and they offered to compete with any 
six men in the country for a purse of money, their challenge 
not being accepted. 

Ben McCulloch was always foremost in all field sports 
demanding the exercise of manly qualities, though the charms 
of music and the dance had not for him the fascination which 
they possessed for the generality of the young beaux and 
belles of all sections of country, in all ages of mankind of 
which we have intelligence. Henry, though partaking much 
of his brother's practical nature, was more of a "ladies' man," 
traits of character which adhered to either through life, the 
former living a bachelor ; the latter seeking a happy union 
with a most excellent wife, and becoming the father of a 
large family, the pride and solace of his declining years. 

Ben prepared another raft of cypress logs, and in the 
autumn of 1833 floated it down to New Orleans and disposed 
of it with his usual success. The next year the brothers, Ben 
and Henry, entered into copartnership and prepared two 
rafts of one hundred logs each, and constructed a flat boat 
one hundred feet long and twenty wide, which they loaded 
with cypress pickets of their own make. In this huge under 
taking their father gave them the services of two negro men, 
and these four not only cut the two hundred logs, but felled 
the trees, hewed the timber and sawed the planks for the boat 
with a whip-saw, by hand, built the boat, made the pickets 
and floated the whole to New Orleans, where they realized in 
the sale of the same ample compensation for their labor. 
Returning home, the brothers forced their father to receive 
payment for the services of the two negro men, as a matter 
of justice to the remainder of the family, and because they 



OF GEN. BEN McCULLOCIL 39 

were resolved to be self-sustaining and independent, which 
he finally did, but under protest. 

In all these enterprises Ben's was the directing mind, the 
great moving power, more because of his seniority and the 
almost filial devotion with which Henry ever regarded him. 
He always mastered all the details in relation to any business 
which he took in hand, not regarding any minutia as beneath 
his notice; "and," says Gen. Henry E. McCulloch, "he 
instructed me how to stack the newly sawed shingles and 
boards, so as to prevent them from being warped by the sun, 
taught me to plow, ' lay fence worm,' build fence, besides 
encouraging and aiding me in acquiring an education, which 
I did wholly without the aid of a teacher, in the usual accept- 
ation of that term. Ben was to me both a father and a brother, 
and to him I owe for all that I am or have been." 

In the spring of 1835, the brothers carried their last raft, 
or rafts — for each was in charge of one — down the Missis- 
sippi, intending to stop and effect a sale at Natchez ; and 
although Ben was the most experienced, and certainly the 
superior manager of a boat or raft, in trying to effect a land- 
ing, parted his cable and was compelled to float on down to 
New Orleans, while Henry made the landing and sold out at 
Natchez. Ben sold in New Orleans, and though the price 
realized for each cargo was about the same, Ben's greater 
distance traveled in returning home, calling for a correspond- 
ing outgo for necessary expenses, enabled Henry to show a 
somewhat heavier balance to the credit of the firm ; which 
success was most gratifying to both the younger son and 
mother, for a victory over Ben was of rare occurrence. 

This closed the career of Ben McCulloch in Tennessee. 
He was now to step upon a new, distant and strange theatre ; 
to exchange his nationality for the foster love of strug- 
gling Texas — a love which mutually swelled in volume and 
increased in intensity as he gave and received blows in her 
service, through all the long years from his manhood's early 
prime until, when the frosts of age were beginning to whiten 
his locks, those fatal ides of March when rock-ribbed hills 
and mountain gorge were shaken by the thunders of a hundred 
cannon, he sealed the firm convictions of his soul with the 
signet of death, faithful unto the end — 

*' For the death-watch was kept where the laurels were blooming." 



40 THE LIFE AND SERVICES 



CHAPTER II 



As many of Austin's colonists were Tennesseeans, the 
people of that State felt considerable interest in the welfare 
of the Texians, and they were by no means unfeeling spec- 
tators of the revolution then brewing ; and the successes of 
the Texians at San Antonio and other points were received 
with pleasure, although it was generally felt that the colonists 
would be called on to sustain greater trials and losses and to 
incur more dangers ere they might hope for peace and quiet. 
It was in this state of affairs — the calm which precedes the 
storm — that Ben McCulloch determined to share the fortunes 
of his countrymen in that then Mexican State, or more prop- 
erly, province, and set about the necessary preparations in the 
summer of 1835. Colonel Crockett was at the time in the 
midst of a very heated canvass, and he assured Ben that 
should his opponent deieat him, he would also go to Texas. 
He was defeated, which rendered him impatient to start ; 
and, as Ben had not completed his arrangements and would 
be detained at home by duties in connection with the farming 
operations for some time, the Colonel set out on the first of 
October. Ben and Henry, each leading an extra horse, fol- 
lowed soon after. They were armed with rifles and belt 
pistols, and each carried a well-filled pair of saddle-bags 
containing their clothing, the preparation of which had been 
the care of loving mother and sisters. They crossed the 
Mississippi at Memphis, and passing through Little Rock, 
turned to the south and crossed Red river at Campton, a few 
miles above Natchitoches, and the Sabine at Gaines's ferry, 
when they passed from under the cegis of the starry flag and 
trod the soil of Mexico. Before reaching Texas they had 
disposed of their extra horses at remunerative prices, and 



OF GEN BEN McCULLOCH. 41 

now, well mounted, some money in their pockets and hope 
beaming bright in their hearts, passed through San Augustine 
to Nacogdoches, where they concluded to rest a few days 
before continuing their purposed exploration of the terra 
incognita, as by far the greater portion of Texas was at that 
time. Being offered good prices for their remaining horses, 
and fearful of their being stolen, they concluded the sale, 
calculating to pursue their journey on foot. But before leav- 
ing Nacogdoches, Ben pointed out to Henry the many hard- 
ships, difficulties, privations and dangers which they would 
have to encounter, and persuaded him to return home. 
But Henry, feeling himself equal to any emergency, and 
being solicitous in regard to the safety of Ben, peremptorily 
refused to accede to the proposition, when Ben undertook to 
accomplish his end by other means, and dwelt upon the long 
services which he had rendered to advance the interests of the 
family, and insisted that Henry owed them a similar duty. 
This appeal struck home to his heart, and promising to return 
home and work for their father two years and then rejoin Ben 
in Texas, Henry, with a heavy heart, shouldered his saddle- 
bags and set out for home. 

Ben, at the same time, struck out for the west, and pur- 
suing the old Nacogdoches and San Antonio trail, crossed the 
Trinity river at Robbins's ferry, and struck the Brazos at 
Nashville, where he found the family of Mrs. Benton, late of 
Dyer county, Tennessee, and who nursed him as a mother 
through a severe attack of measles. It was fortunate that he 
did not arrive in time to march with the brave " Old Davy" 
to swejl the numbers of the fated garrison of the Alamo ; 
though he was greatly disappointed and by no means disposed 
to regard his late illness as a blessing in disguise. 

After the recovery of his health, he descended the Brazos 
river in a canoe to Gross's plantation, near which the Texian 
army was encamped. He was welcomed heartily to a place 
in the ranks of the " Invincibles," and here for the first time 
clasped the manly hands of Tom Green, Walter P. Lane, 
Richardson Scurry, Wm. H. Jack, Benjamin C. Franklin 
and others, destined to become his warm, life-long friends. 
In the battle which followed, and whose signal victory for the 
arms of Texas emphasized the declaration of independence 



42 THE LIFE AND SERVICES 

but recently announced from Washington on the Brazos, 
Ben McCulloch, the Tennessee backwoodsman, bear hunter 
and trapper, commanded one of the famous "Twin Sisters," 
two cannon donated to the Texian patriots 1 y the noble ladies 
of Cincinnati, to which responsible post he had been assigned 
by Captain Poe a few days before the battle. Of his own 
conduct in this battle, he wrote a friend :— 

u At the battle of San Jacinto I was in command of one 
piece of artillery. The fire of it opened upon the enemy, 
about two hundred yards distant. We advanced after each 
discharge, keeping it in advance of the infantry, until we 
were within less than two hundred yards of their breastwork, 
at which time I had aimed the gun, but was delayed in firing 
for a moment by General Houston, who passed across 
some thirty paces in front of the gun, and was nearly that 
distance in advance of every man in that part of the field. 

[Signed] Ben McCulloch." 

Ben McCulloch at San Jacinto. 



Brave Ben, why stand with your match in your hand? 

There are Mexican foes in your sight. 
The hour has come when there's hope for the land, 

And your brethren are keen for the fight. 

Let the " Twin Sister " speak, her sulphurous breath, 

Like the simoon, will wither his men — 
Let Iter bear to the foe a message of death ; 

Remember the Alamo, Ben ! 

Hark ! There's a sound on the air, 'tis the Alamo cry 1 

A form rushes past to the fight — 
'Tis Houston, who leads* the men willing to die, 

For freedom, for Texas and right. 

Ben stands at his gun, with his eye on the foe, 

Till the last of that band has gone by. 
Then, cheering them on, he says : " Let her go ! 

Bake them well ! " and they dastardly fly. 

The " Twin Sister" spoke 'mid the rifle's sharp crack, 

The clashing of swords and the j r ell 
Of men who fight on, but never tarn back, 

Till the battle is won and won well. 

That shot did its work, and furiously then 

The avengers bore down on the foe ; 
They rally — they fly! Your work is done, Ben, 

And the rest was done bravely, we know. 



OF GEN DEN McCULLOCIL 43 

Hurrah for stout Ben i and hurrah for the band 

That gave freedom to Texas that day ! 
And hurrah for the gun which so bravel} r was manned, 

When the hero wa« passing that way ! 

And hurrah for the hero ! Hurrah for the star ! 

The Lone Star of Texas winch rose 
From the plains of Jacinto, blood-red with the war, 

To the sky where it peacefully glows. 

Let us cherish the hero and cherish the star, 

And cherish the sky where it glows ; 
Let the star in the sky shine on evermore, 

As bright as the day when it rose. E. W. 

Immediately after the battle, and upon the field. Gen. 
Sam Houston, who had been an eye-witness of the marked 
gallantry of Ben McCulloch, promoted him to a first lieu- 
ienantcy in the artillery corps, which prompt and marked 
recognition of his services must have been extremely gratify- 
ing., though his unchanged conduct furnished no indices of 
hrs elation. There was an air about the thoughtful, cool and 
courageous young man which arrested the attention. Scru- 
pulously neat in his dress, which was the plain " homespun " 
of the backwoods, and courteous in his manners, he seemed 
in the surging mass of wild, rough humanity which celebrated 
the victory with boisterous hurrahs, a being sui generis; for 
though his bright, intelligent blue eyes would kindle on such 
occasions with unwonted animation, the emotions swelling 
within his bosom were held in abeyance by an inflexible force 
of the will but rarely witnessed. The great Napoleon pos- 
sessed the same mystic key by which the emotions were kept 
securely locked when occasion demanded the effort ; and on 
that eventful eighteenth of Brumaire summoned it to his sup- 
port for a feigned exhibition, of confidence in the midst of 
furious hurricane, before which to bend was to be lost. 

With McCulloch it was perfectly natural to remain cool, 
calm and collected in the midst of danger and confusion ; and 
it was remarked in after years that impending danger only 
quickened his faculties, and that the wiliest enemy could not 
spring against him a parthian arrow but he would find means 
upon the wing of the moment to counteract the blow. He 
was young at this period, having but recently entered the first 
decade of manhood, yet, however much he might join in the 



44 THE LIFE AND SERVICES 

mirth and sports of the young of his own age, his real pur- 
poses were locked securely in his own bosom. His confidants 
were very few, and his companions felt that there was a mys- 
terious spirit belonging to the silent young gunner which had 
never bended to the familiarities of the camp ; a spirit which 
prompted him to gaze with fixed purpose and longing eyes 
into the far future, and to dream of fame, mayhaps, but 
always as the reward of patriotic service, always no the line of 
doing good for his people. Ben McCulloch never cared for 
money. Had the paltry profits of trade possessed any attrac- 
tions for him, he could easily have become a millionaire. 

The retreat of the Mexican forces beyond the Rio Grande 
left the Texian army, and especially the artillery, nothing to 
do. This tame character of life did not at all accord with his 
active, energetic nature, and he consequently obtained a fur- 
lough for an indefinite period, in order to be free to partici- 
pate in any legitimate adventure which might spring up. 
There was much and very profitable adventure of an illegiti- 
mate character, in which many of the adventurers of Texas 
were engaging, viz., reprisals made on the abandoned herds 
of cattle and horses west of the San Antonio river, whose 
owners had accompanied the retreating Mexican army into 
Mexico. It is true that the "cow-boys" justified their 
conduct upon the plea that the stock was the property of pub- 
lic enemies, but it savored too much of a direct violation of 
the ten commandments for Ben McCulloch to engage in it, 
though the profits had amounted to millions instead of paltry 
hundreds of dollars. Receiving his furlough while the army 
was encamped on the Lavaca river, he purchased a mule 
and explored the Lavaca and Guadaloupe valleys as far as 
it was deemed safe to travel, and then wended his way to the 
north, with no companions but his mule and trusty rifle, 
examining the country thoroughly. 

Finding that there was no prospect for active service, 
though volunteers were being received into the army all the 
time, he determined to visit his home, and obtained authority 
to raise a company of volunteers in Tennessee. He did so, 
remaining but a brief space at home, and returned in the 
autumn of 1836 with a company of thirty men to the army. 
Declining the captaincy himself, Ben McCulloch secured the 



OF GEN BEN McCULLOCH. 45 

election of Robert Crockett, son of "Old Davy, " to the 
same. Disdaining the idle life of a soldier in camp, when 
there was no prospect for active service, he spent a portion of 
the winter in looking at the country which he had not yet vis- 
ited, and the remainder in the town of Houston, sawing lum- 
ber with a whip-saw. 

Ke returned to Tennessee in the summer of 1837, so as 
to prepare himself thoroughly, under the direction of his 
father, as a surveyor, in order to be ready to enter upon that 
work at the opening of the land office of the Republic, which 
would not occur until February, 183S, which allowed him 
ample time to prepare himself for his purposed new field of 
operations. He procured the necessary instruments, and 
returned at the time indicated ; and, as he had selected the 
Guadalupe and San Marcos valleys as his future home, he 
made his way directly to Gonzales. As soon as the county 
surveyor's office was opened by Charles Lockhart, he obtained 
a deputation under him, and with the early spring commenced 
his operations as a practical surveyor. He made the locating 
and surveying of lands his regular occupation for a number of 
years, and, as in everything that he undertook, pursued it 
with energy, being 'frequently called upon to resist Indian 
and Mexican incursions, until the Republic was annexed to 
the United States, in the interim, serving as the representa- 
tive from the Gonzales municipality in the Congress of the 
Republic, for the term of 1839-40. 

It is more than suspected that he chose Gonzales, the 
Lexington of Texian independence, as his home more because 
its exposed situation invited forays from both the Mexicans 
and Indians, than for any other purpose, and the consequent 
want of men to defend the women and children and shield 
the infant settlement until it had acquired sufficient strength 
to do so itself. Home, for some time, he had none ; but 
always had two goc d horses and fire-arms ready for use, 
which, in his safe hands, rarely failed to tell. The brave 
young gunner, fresh from the field of San Jacinto, whose 
magic name it seemed to the lately fleeing, but now reassured 
citizens, had but to be pronounced, when, lo ! the fortunes of 
the war were reversed, was a welcome visitor at every house, 
and not only in Gonzales, but throughout Texas, the con- 



46 THE LIFE AND SERVICES 

script fathers met him with: "Come to see me, Ben, and 
bring your knitting along ; the latch-string always hangs on 
the outside to you;" and neither he nor his horses ever 
wanted for anything that larder or corn-crib could supply. 
For, foremost to meet every danger, he always rode forth to 
battle ; and the- many skirmishes, scouts, surprises and hair- 
breadth escapes which he encountered during the decade 
succeeding the battle of San Jacinto will never be known. 

In July, 1838, he was joined by his brother Henry, who 
became his partner in all enterprises, and the brothers were 
inseparable until the marriage of the latter, in 1840. They 
kept " bachelor's hall," living a portion of the time in a log 
cabin and the remainder in a camp. After the marriage of 
Henry, Ben, when not "on the go," made his house his 
home. His election to the Texian Congress, just mentioned, 
occurred in 1839. He was a silent member, though a thought- 
ful, working one, and was recognized by such men as Sam 
Houston, David S. Kaufman, William Menefee, William H. 
Jack and John W. Harris, who were among his colleagues in 
that first legislative session at Austin, as possessed of as 
much judgment in council as he had upon so many occasions 
exhibited skill and courage in the field. 

Says General H. E. McCulloch : "No two brothers ever 
lived, perhaps, that were more endeared to each other, or 
who dwelt together in more perfect harmony." Not that 
they always agreed, by any means, upon the various questions 
of public policy which aj that time engaged attention ; for 
they were men of positive character, accustomed to think and 
act for themselves ; but each respected the other's opinions, 
and as either was always influenced by correct motives, there 
was no ground upon which to base censure. They differed 
in regard to the advisability of "annexation," Ben favoring 
that measure and Henry opposing it, but both with strict 
regard to the best interests of Texas in the premises. 

In the winter of 1838-39, Col. John H. Moore, of Fayette 
county, made a campaign against the Comanches on the 
upper Colorado ; and Ben McCulloch, taking advantage of 
the favorable opportunity thus presented for chastising the 
hostile Indians who so frequently disturbed the quiet of the 
Gonzales settlement, conceited measures with "Captain 



OF GEN BEN McCULLOCH. 47 

Jim," chief of the Toncahua tribe, to act with a small party 
of whites, consisting of himself, Henry E. McCulloch, Wilson 
Randle, David Henson and John D. Wolfin, Ben agreeing 
to furnish the Toncahuas with salt and one hundred rounds 
of ammunition for ten or twelve rifles (all the fire-arms in the 
tribe), the remaining warriors, to the number of thirty or 
more, being armed with spears and bows and arrows. After 
much difficulty, occasioned by a fall of snow and very cold 
weather, McCulloch succeeded in getting the Toncahuas from 
their camp on Peach creek, some fifteen miles from Gonzales, 
and the command marched some twenty-five miles up the 
creek and encamped for the night in a dense thicket. The 
next morning a fresh trail was struck, indicating a raid upon 
the settlement by a combined force of Wacos and Comanches. 
Knowing that they could be but a short distance ahead, Ben 
persuaded " Captain Jim" to give pursuit. Two fleet Ton- 
cahuas were ordered by their chief to push on in a run along 
the trail, and Ben, who was as fleet of foot as they, and pos- 
sessed of as much endurance, and withal having more 
confidence in his own judgment than theirs, accompanied the 
spies. Ben correctly judged that the hostiles would conceal 
themselves in the dense brush which grew upon a deep 
branch which was ahead, during the day, and sally forth at 
night to perpetrate their atrocities on the unsuspecting people. 
After accurately examining their position, Ben fell back to 
give directions to "Captain Jim." The enemy was sur- 
rounded and a most obstinate fight ensued, which continued 
till near nightfall, and but for the disobedience of McCulloch's 
orders on the part of the Toncahuas, the whole party of the 
hostiles would have been captured. As it was, ten Wacos 
and Comanches were killed on the field, and but one of 
McCulloch's party, a Toncahua. But the expedition ended 
here, " Captain Jim" alleging that his people would have to 
return to their camp to rejoice over the victory and bewail the 
death of their brother. The Toncahuas scalped the dead and 
dying Comanches and Wacos, and while life was not yet 
extinct in some of them, cut off their hands and feet, arms 
and legs, and fleeced the flesh, off their thighs and breasts, 
which horrid booty the cannibal monsters bore away with 
them to their camp, in which, doubtless, a revolting, ghoulish 



43 THE LIFE AND SER VICES 

feast was celebrated. Ben was chagrined at this abrupt 
termination of the expedition ; but Henry, who had not from 
the first contemplated it with favor, was rejoiced that it 
was so. 

The brothers returned to their bachelor cabin, two miles 
above Gonzales ; and it being too early in the season for the 
grass to sufficiently sustain their horses in surveying, and 
there being a very heavy crop of pecans, they determined to 
build a small flat-boat, twelve feet wide and thirty long, load 
it with pecans, and test the practicability of navigating the 
Guadalupe river. This influenced the Randle brothers— 
Barnett and Wilson — to do likewise ; and the four estab- 
lished a camp in the Guadalupe bottom, on the land of Mrs. 
DeWitt, who kindly gave them the timber necessary for the 
construction of their boats. This was prepared by the enter- 
prising young men with broad-axes and whip-saws — a tedious 
and quite laborious undertaking ; but so interested did the 
neighbors become that they came daily to note the progress 
made, and contributed no little gratuitous assistance ; and 
Messrs. Simon Bateman and James Hodges, about the only 
men in the county who owned negroes, each sent two men to 
help "the boys." Upon the completion of the boats, the 
generous citizens sent in an abundance of provisions, which 
with the game which they would be able to bag en route, 
would last the entire voyage. Ben had prepared a light 
canoe, in which he took the lead down the river, having 
secured the services of Addison Lynch (one of the most noted 
fiddlers of his day and section) to assist Henry with the larger 
craft. The trip was made without incident, to Saluria island 
at Pass Caballo, where they sold their pecans to "Uncle Joe 
Hamilton," of Gonzales, who happened to be there en route 
to New Orleans ; and being unable to sell their boats, gave 
them to persons living on the island. Altogether, the enter 
prise proved a success. 

After some months spent in surveying, they were visited 
by Captain Mathew Caldwell, perhaps better known by his 
famous sobriquet of "Old Paint," who informed them that 
he had received the necessary authority to raise a company of 
rangers for six months, and wished Ben to aid him in the 
undertaking, and to accept the first lieutenantcy when the 



OF GEN BEN McCULLOCI-L 49 

company was organized, which he promptly declined, but 
suggested that Henry should accept the position, promising 
to assist in obtaining the requisite number of men. This 
being satisfactory, Captain Caldwell left their camp, which 
was upon the ground now occupied by the town of Lockhart, 
the county seat of Caldwell county, with the understanding 
that the brothers would meet him at Walnut Springs, now 
the town of Seguin. 

The permanent seat of government having been estab- 
lished at Austin, the citizens of Gonzales were anxious to 
have Ben McCulloch lay off and mark out a road to the 
same, Captain Caldwell promising to furnish the necessary 
escort. There were no maps of the country, and McCulloch 
never having traveled from Bastrop to Austin, he visited 
General Burleson to obtain the course and distance ; so that, 
with his own knowledge in regard to the course and distance 
from Gonzales to Bastrop, he could make his calculations as 
to the proper course to run from the courthouse in Gonzales 
(a small board shanty) to the capital of the Republic. In 
making the calculation, as well as it could be done from this 
data, he determined that Austin lay fifteen degrees west of 
north from Gonzales, and about fifty miles distant, at which 
much surprise was expressed, as the general belief was that 
Austin was several degrees east of north from Gonzales ; and 
when he struck out on his course (north fifteen degrees west) 
many predicted that he would leave Austin several miles to 
the right. But the result justified McCulloch's calculation, 
as the Colorado river was struck at a point three miles below 
Austin, known as the u Montopolis Ford," which being the 
only ford near the new capital, was necessarily just where the 
road would have to cross the river. Then by running a line 
from the ford to "Capitol Hill," in Austin, he ascertained 
the true course to be north seventeen degrees west and the 
distance fifty-five and a quarter miles from the courthouse in 
Gonzales to "Capitol Hill" in Austin. 

This year (1839) Ben McCulloch was influenced, much 
against his own inclinations, to become a candidate for Con- 
gress. The congressional district was composed of the 
settlements in Gonzales, Cuero, Walnut Springs (Seguin) 



50 THE LIFE AND SER VICES 

and the Lavaca settlement, so that but little time, labor or 
expense was necessary to make a canvass ; neither was it 
necessary in McCulloch's case to more than announce his 
candidature. But his competitor, Col. Alonzo B. Sweitzer, 
determined not only to make a vigorous canvass himself, but 
to force McCulloch to take the stump in self-defense, if 
possible. Colonel Sweitzer was a physician and an educated 
man, possessed of considerable literary ability, and felt that 
he would have a great advantage over the "backwoodsman," 
as he styled McCulloch. To effect his object, he published 
his programme for addressing the voters of the four settle- 
ments composing the district, and invited his opponent to 
meet him in debate, which invitation McCulloch respectfully 
declined, upon the plea of pressing previous engagements ; 
but the real cause was the fact that Colonel Sweitzer was 
often intoxicated, and when so, was very insulting, and 
McCulloch felt sure that a joint discussion between them 
could but result in a personal difficulty. This declination not 
only disappointed Colonel Sweitzer, but it seemed to enrage 
him. He entertained his audiences by ridiculing the idea of 
electing a moral coward to a seat in the Texian. Congress. 
McCulloch paid no attention to these diatribes, further than 
to inform his friends, whose good opinion he valued, as to 
the true nature of his reason for declining to meet him. The 
election resulted in an overwhelming majority for McCulloch, 
and wrought his defeated opponent up to fever heat, and he 
inveighed in a melo-dramatic style against the "moral 
coward," and "sneaking skulker," upon every available 
occasion. 

About three weeks after the election, the Indians made a 
raid into Gonzales county, stealing a great many horses. 
Captain Caldwell, his company swollen by many citizen 
volunteers, gave pursuit. A number of scouts — including 
Ben McCulloch and Colonel Sweitzer — were sent out to find 
the trail ; and while the former was reporting to Captain 
Caldwell, the latter rode up and announced the fact that he 
had discovered the trail, at the same time accusing McCul- 
loch of having attempted to lead Captain Caldwell off the 
trail of the Indians, rather than he should have the credit of 
having found the same. This personal insult could not be 



OF GEN BEN McCULLOCH. 51 

treated with that silence which McCulloch had so long main- 
tained as his only response to the vituperation of Colonel 
Sweitzer, and, with perfect self-control, he pronounced the 
charge a base and slanderous falsehood, at the same time 
adding that no patriot would raise a personal difficulty when 
in pursuit of the public enemy, and that he preferred deferring 
the adjustment of their personal differences until the present 
emergency was past. 

Upon which French Smith observed : " Truly brave men 
seldom pursue such a cowardly course !" 

When Henry McCulloch replied: "Ben's attention is 
called to another, but I stand ready, gun in hand, to show 
you or any other meddler that there is no cowardice in the 
blood, and if you doubt it, show yourself a man, and make 
ready !" 

To which he replied: "I seek no difficulty with you." 
When Captain Caldwell ordered all into line and led off in 
the direction of the Indian trail. 

The pursuit continued over the rough, mountainous 
country for several days, and until the horses were used up t 
and the command countermarched for the settlements. 

There had been no allusion to the affair above detailed 
during the whole time, not even between the McCulloch 
brothers, until the valley of the Blanco was reached, when 
after they had retired for the night, Henry asked Ben if he 
intended settling his difficulty with Sweitzer before they 
reached Gonzales, or wait until he had filled himself with 
mean whiskey? Ben replied : " The matter has rested until 
some of my friends begin to think I am a coward, and from 
your remarks, I judge that you are growing impatient. There 
is a proper time for all things, and if you have not settled 
down in the conviction of my cowardice, you can afford to 
wait until I deem the proper time has arrived forme to defend 
my honor and our name." Then, after a moment's reflection: 
" At the same time it may be necessary for you to be ready 
to play your part." To which Henry quickly replied : "I 
am there ; I will play it! " 

Early the next morning Captain Caldwell started his 
scouts and hunters some time in advance of the command, so 
as to give them a fair opportunity for killing game, and as 



52 THE LIFE AND SERVICES 

they soon succeeded in bringing to bay several deer and a 
young and very fat bear — an ample supply of meat to last 
several days — the captain called a halt under some large 
pecan trees which stood near the east bank of the Rio Blanco 
in a beautiful prairie, and announced that they would remain 
there until morning. Dinner dispatched, a number of the 
men had gathered about the captain, engaged in conversation, 
and among the number Colonel Sweitzer. Ben proposed that 
they should join this party, and as no man was without his 
arms, no notice was taken of the McCulloch brothers as they 
walked up, rifles in hand. But as they came along, Mr. 
Smith was passed, to whom Ben McCulloch said, in his 
usual familiar style: "French, we are going up to the cap- 
tain's crowd, and you had better walk up with us, as you 
may be needed there." Mr. Smith promising to be on 
hand at once, the McCullochs joined the party, as stated. 
Upon reaching the circle, Ben McCulloch bade them "good 
evening, gentlemen," in his usual pleasant manner, and 
then, seeing that Mr. Smith had arrived, he addressed 
himself to Captain Caldwell, in an ordinary tone, asking: 
"Captain, has yourpursuit of the Indians ceased? and if so, 
have you any reasonable expectation of a fight, between this 
place and Gonzales, with the enemy of the country?" 

The captain replied: "We abandoned the trail of the 
Indians, from necessity, tnree days ago, and are now on our 
way back to the settlements, and I do not apprehend the 
slightest prospect of a fight on the road to Gonzales." 

Ben McCulloch, then, turning to Colonel Sweitzer, said: 
"This, then, is a proper time to settle our personal difference, 
and I call on you now to show your courage, if you possess 
it, by defending yourself against the attack of the man 
against whom you made a base and slanderous charge the 
morning we left Gonzales," at the same time raising his rifle 
as if about to fire, when Colonel Sweitzer rose to his feet, 
leaving his gun and pistols lying on the ground, saying: "I 
am not prepared to defend myself now." 

"Your arms are within your reach, and you shall have 
ample time to pick them up and to use them, if you have the 
courage to do so," said Ben McCulloch, in a calm, delib- 
erate tone, no indication of the least excitement visible in his 



OF GEN BEN McCULLOCH. 53 

cool physiognomy and iron nerves ; and after waiting a 
moment, he continued: "But you are too base and cowardly 
to fight, except when your villainous carcass is filled with 
mean whisky ; and, as you will not fight when you have a 
fair and honorable opportunity, I cannot afford to shoot you 
down like a dog, although you deserve it, and I must content 
myself by pronouncing you a black-hearted, cowardly villain, 
in every respect beneath the notice of a gentleman ; and I 
notify you now, in the presence of these gentlemen, that 
while I shall feel at liberty to defend myself against any 
drunken attack you may see proper to make on me, person- 
ally I shall never again stoop so low as to recognize you 
under any circumstances." Then turning to Mr. Smith, he 
said: "When Sweitzer and myself had our difference, the 
morning we left Gonzales, you saw proper to put in your 
jaw, and upon being called to answer, a demand made by my 
brother, you remarked that you did not seek a difficulty with 
him, leaving the inference that you desired one with me ; if 
so, sir, you can be instantly gratified, by bringing the rifle 
which you hold in your hand to a present!" Mr. Smith 
said: "I have no quarrel with, nor desire any difficulty with 
either of you." To which Ben McCulloch replied: "Then 
I suppose, French, that it was Sweitzer's mean whisky in 
you that did the talking, and not yourself!" This was 
received with a burst of laughter from the entire crowd, i n 
which Mr. Smith joined heartily. 

Soon after the return to Gonzales, Colonel Sweitzer sent a 
formal challenge by his friend, Col. Reuben Ross, a brave 
and chivalrous gentleman. Ben McCulloch promptly refused 
to recognize his principal as a gentleman, and consequently 
declined an acceptance of his invitation, whereupon Col. 
Ross asked : — 

"Do you hold yourself, as a gentleman, amenable to the 
code of honor?" 

"I do, sir!" promptly answered McCulloch, "and will 
say that I regard you as such." 

He evidently believed the interrogatory of Colonel Ross 
implied a substitution of himself in place of his principal, 
which, in fact, was the case, as the next day he sent a note, 
and the details of the meeting were speedily arranged. 



54 THE LIFE AND SER VICES 

They met about two miles north of Gonzales, with rifles, 
at forty paces. Colonel Ross being a trained duelist, fired 
at the word, his ball striking the under portion of McCul- 
loch's right arm, and drew his fire, which doubtless saved his 
life, for Ben McCulloch, at forty paces, could drive a nail 
into a tree with the ball fired from his rifle. 

Colonel Ross was informed of the result of his fire, and 
asked if his honor was satisfied, as, in case he desired to pro- 
long the interview, Henry McCulloch begged to tender his 
Respects, and say he was ready to take the quarrel off the 
hands of his wounded brother. Colonel Ross expressed his 
entire satisfaction, and requested the privilege of speaking 
with hi6 recent adversary, which being readily conceded, he 
approached, and very feelingly asked McCulloch if he was 
seriously wounded. Though not dangerous, the wound was 
exceedingly painful. 

Seeing that McCulloch had not provided himself with the 
services of a surgeon, Colonel Ross proffered those of his 
own, which offer was gladly accepted. Colonel Ross assured 
McCulloch that he "regretted the circumstances which 
forced him to meet so brave a man in a private encounter, 
and especially the painful result. I trust, sir, your wound is 
not serious, as I am not, nor have I been, your enemy. I 
assure you that it would afford me great pleasure to hence- 
forth claim you for a friend." 

McCulloch extended his left hand (the right being para- 
lyzed by the shot), which Colonel Ross clasped in his own, 
and McCulloch said: — 

"As I believe you honest in your expressions, and can 
accord you all you have to me, and feeling that there has 
been no cause of enmity between us, your request is granted. 
I hope that hereafter we may be friends." 

As Colonel Ross seemed to eye Henry McCulloch in 
a manner which, at least, implied doubt, Henry said to 
him: — 

"I am with my brother in all that he does. His settle- 
ment of this affair is perfectly satisfactory to me, and binding 
on his friends, and I hope, sir, that our friendship may be 
enduring." 

To which Colonel Ross replied : — 



OF GEN. BEN McCULLOCH. 55 

"Such are my feelings and hopes." 

Though suffering greatly from his wound, which for many 
months deprived him entirely of the use of his arm, which 
he carried in a sling (and, in fact, never wholly recovered), 
Ben McCulloch sat through the session of Congress, of which 
mention has already been made. 



CHAPTER III 



In August, 1840, occurred " The Great Comanche Raid/' 
which was the most daring and formidable incursion that the 
savages ever made in Texas. Their cavalcade numbered 
about 1,000 warriors, all well mounted, but principally armed 
with the primitive lance and bow and arrow. They also 
were incumbered with the usual multitude of squaws, 
pappooses and camp equipage. The column came down the 
Blanco river — then an uninhabited section — to near its junc- 
tion with the San Marcos ; then bearing east, leaving Gon- 
zales to the right, they threatened Victoria, killing a number 
of men and making captives of several women, penetrated 
to the town of Linnville, on the Matagorda bay, the inhab- 
itants fleeing for refuge on board the vessels, while the town 
was sacked and burned. 

Captain Caldwell being absent, in pursuit of another 
raiding party west of the Guadalupe, Ben McCulloch raised 
a party and started upon the trail of the bold invaders. Other 
companies were raised — one by Capt. John J. Tumlinson, of 
the Cuero settlement; one by Capt. Adam Zumwalt, of the 
Lavaca; and another by Capt. Clark L. Owen, of Jackson 
county. These encountered the Comanches on the Marcado 
creek, twelve miles east of Victoria, encumbered with plunder 
and a numerous herd of stolen horses. The Indians skir- 
mished cautiously and evinced a disposition to avoid battle, 
as they wished to regain their own haunts without the loss of 



56 THE LIFE AND SEE VICES 

the valuable booty. McCulloch, divining their purpose, 
counseled a charge upon them, as a means of forcing them to 
battle ; but this proposition was overruled, and feeling the 
necessity for prompt action, he left his company in charge of 
a lieutenant, and taking three men, Archibald Gipson, Bar- 
nett Randle and Alsey S. Miller, to aid him in collecting a 
force with which to intercept the Indians, set out for Gonzales, 
riding day and night. He dispatched Gipson with a note to 
General Burleson, on the Colorado river, and to sound the 
alarm en route, designating the crossing on Plum creek as 
the point of rendezvous — an exhibition of sagacity and sound 
judgment which proved the key to the whole situation of 
affairs. Miller was dispatched in quest of Captain Caldwell, 
while himself and Capt. James Bird organized the citizens of 
Gonzales into a minute company. Henry McCulloch was 
sent to Big Hill, fourteen miles east of Gonzales, to spy the 
enemy and report his movements when passing that point. 
He concealed himself and viewed the savage cavalcade pass 
in a few hundred yards of his cover, and not until the advance 
of Tumlinson's pursuing party came in sight did he leave ; 
then under whip and spur he galloped to his brother with the 
report of his observations. 

Ben McCulloch (though he had been the prevailing spirit 
in all the operations up to this time, as it was due to his 
promptness, energy and sagacity that armed men were hur- 
riedly converging from distant settlements to a common ren- 
dezvous), in the battle which ensued, held no command, but, 
with his brother, fought as a "free lance" in the company 
of brave " Old Paint," who had received his summon and 
hastened to the designated point. 

Generals Felix Huston and Burleson soon arrived with 
some force, and the former, at the request of the captains, 
reluctantly assumed the command. Caldwell brought on 
the engagement by attacking the Indian advance, which was 
in the direction up and along the creek, and drove them back 
upon the main body. While the Texians were forming their 
lines the Comanches made frequent demonstrations as if 
about to attack, a few of their braves dashing up just beyond 
range of the Texian rifles and harmlessly discharging their 
guns and arrows; seeing which, Henry McCulloch dashed 







X 







OF GEN. BEN McCULLOCH. 57 

up, on foot, to a mesquite tree about ten inches in diameter, 
'which stood about midway between the two forces, and suc- 
ceeded in getting in several effective shots, but drew upon 
himself the fire of many of the Comanches, which almost 
denuded the tree of its bark. Seeing his danger, and more 
solicitous for his brother's safety than his own, Ben galloped 
up and urged him not to expose himself so needlessly, which 
request Henry promised to comply with as soon as he had 
secured another shot. He had scarcely regained his horse 
when Gipson and Miller called his attention to the peril of 
Colonel Sweitzer, who was being closely pressed by eight or 
ten warriors. "Come on, boys," shouted Henry, "we must 
save him!" and the three dashed upon the pursuing Indians 
and drove them back upon the main body, thus rescuing 
Colonel Sweitzer in the moment of peril. The latter, after 
the battle, said to Henry, through Captain Caldwell, that as 
he owed him for his life, he would be glad to claim him as a 
friend. Henry disclaimed having done anything to warrant 
any change in their relations, saying that he had but acted 
the part dictated by common humanity, and that Colonel 
Sweitzer was under no obligations to him. 

A desultory skirmish was proceeding, very similar to the 
one which had so disgusted Ben McCulloch on the Marcado 
a few days before, with the difference that upon the present 
occasion the Indians were more bold and had wounded a 
number of horses and men ; and he called attention to it. 
Henry replied that such an experienced captain as Caldwell 
was, he certainly saw the mistake being committed, but was 
deterred from taking any independent action through defer- 
ence to General Huston, who had no experience in Indian 
warfare, and urged Ben to lay the matter before " Old Paint" 
at once. They rode to General Huston instead, who, thank- 
ing Ben for the suggestion, promptly ordered a charge, which 
drove the Indians in confusion from their position. They 
here murdered a white woman, Mrs. Crosby, of Victoria, 
and shot an arrow into the bosom of Mrs. Watts, of Linn- 
ville, and would have given her the coup de grace, but for the 
timely appearance of Ben McCulloch upon the scene. 

The Indians made no further general stand, but main- 
tained a running fight over the prairie (interspersed with 



53 THE LIFE AND SER VICES 

groves of timber) for a distance of ten or twelve miles — each 
man " looking out for himself " — in the course of which many 
deeds of bravery were performed by both Texians and 
Indians. Ben McCulloch's disabled right arm was carried 
in a sling, and his pistols were, of course, discharged from 
his left; but, mounted on "Pike," the best horse west of the 
Colorado, he gallantly led the pursuit, and being perfectly 
familiar with the topography of the country, made disposi- 
tions for a semi-ambuscade upon the margin of a miry branch 
which the Comanches would have to cross. About thirty of 
the best mounted men, under his guidance, succeeded in 
reaching the point in time to inflict heavy loss on the howl- 
ing and discomfited braves as they were slowly struggling 
through the deep mud. Henry McCulloch shot a mounted 
Indian from his horse, who, falling, uttered a piteous 
howl. "My God, Ben," he exclaimed, "I have killed a 
squaw!" "No time now to give way to such feelings," 
Ben replied. "Mount, and let us pursue them! " 

They led their horses over the morass, and mounting, 
soon Ben and Henry McCulloch, Alsey S. Miller and Co- 
lumbus C. DeWitt were far in advance of their comrades 
and right upon the rear flank of the flying enemy, and became 
engaged in a series of hand-to-hand encounters. Henry 
McCulloch fired at a chief and wounded his horse. The 
brave fellow sounded his whistle in the vain hope to rally his 
warriors, and then, nerved to desperation, drew his bow for 
a last effort, but ere the twanging chord could send an arrow 
on its deadly mission, the young ranger dashed up and shot 
him dead with a belt pistol. His comrades had all passed 
on. Miller became engaged, a little further on, in a hand-to- 
hand contest and dispatched his man. DeWitt, too, over- 
hauled one, and having but a single shot, charged up to 
within ten feet of his adversary to make sure work, and was 
fortunately successful. Ben McCulloch accepted the gauge 
of a saucy warrior, and holding his bridle reins in his teeth, 
shot the charging savage dead at a distance of ten feet. Pur- 
suing the fugitives, the Texians became somewhat scattered, 
when a stout, gray-haired warrior wheeled so suddenly upon 
Henry McCulloch that he just had time to draw a pistol from 
his belt, which he literally jammed against the Indian's side 



OF GEN BEN McCULLOCH. 59 

and fired. By this time they had reached the timber on 
Morrison's creek, a tributary of the San Marcos river, and 
the exhausted Texians discontinued the pursuit. 

Ben and Henry McCulloch, DeWitt and Miller went on 
a scouting expedition some miles further up the San Marcos 
and across to the Clear Fork of Plum creek, finding a child 
two or three years of age abandoned by the Indians, and a 
squaw, who for some reason had fallen behind, and returned 
to camp about sundown, where they met General Huston, 
Colonel Burleson and Captain Caldwell together, and 
reported the result of their observations. 

"Well, Ben," said Colonel Burleson, "we had a pretty 
fight, killed sixty Indians, recovered much property and 
rescued one poor white woman from a fate worse than death, 
while we have only a few men wounded — none killed. " 

"Colonel," said Ben, "you are an old Indian fighter, 
how many Comanches should we estimate as a match for one 
Texian?" 

"Not less than five, I should judge." 

"Then," replied Ben, "Henry has drawn upon them 
to-day for more than his share! " 

" Well done ! " exclaimed General Huston, "that certainly 
entitles him to the gratitude of the country, a heme and a 
good wife." 

To which Henry answered : " I have a pretty sure promise 
of a wife, as we had to defer our marriage until after this 
campaign." 

Henry E. McCulloch and Miss Jane Isabella Ashby were 
married in Gonzales at the home of her brother-in-law, Hon. 
B. D. McLure, August 20, 1840, and that autumn built his 
house, four miles above Gonzales, on the San Marcos river, 
which was then considered as a very exposed situation, being 
on the extreme outskirts of the settlement, which became the 
first permanent home that the McCulloch brothers had in 
Texas. 

But before resuming the thread of the narrative proper, 
another, and an extremely interesting account of the great 
Comanche raid, from the graphic stylus of Colonel John 
Henry Brown, who, in regard to any and all matters apper- 
aining to the pioneer history of Texas, speaks ex cathedra: — 



60 THE LIFE AND SERVICES 

"The raiding column was composed of about one thous- 
and warriors, consisting mostly of Comanches and renegade 
Mexicans, Cherokees, Pawnees, Kickapoos and others. 
At that time there was no human habitation between Austin 
and San Antonio, but two between Austin and Gonzales, but 
one between LaGrange and Gonzales and none between the 
Lavaca settlements and the Guadalupe. Starting from 
Victoria or Linnville, there was an open country for from 
forty to eighty miles wide, to the Austin and San Antonio 
road, and beyond that not a house short of El Paso, Santa 
Fe, Fort Smith or Independence, Missouri, hundreds of miles 
away. Through this wilderness this large confederation of 
wild Indians and their half-civilized, but renegade, allies 
passed down to the coast during the light of the moon, in 
August, 1840. They had a few squaws, children and old 
men in addition to their available force. Their first encounter 
with the white men was near the Lavaca river, on August 
5th, when twenty-seven of their flankers chased two men for 
four miles — Tucker Foley and Joel Ponton. Foley was 
caught, his left foot skinned and he was made to walk a mile 
over burnt prairie — then shot and scalped. Ponton was 
dangerously wounded, but escaped into a thicket. On the 
afternoon of August 6th, the whole body suddenly clashed 
upon the town of Victoria, killing several persons in the 
vicinity, white and black, and chasing others into the very 
heart of the town, among them Judge G. W. Palmer, the 
late Capt. J. O. Wheeler and others. The people were 
panic-stricken. No one ever dreamed of such an invasion. 
A few men of nerve rallied and attempted to hold them at 
bay, but they were soon overpowered and killed, among 
them Doctor Gray, McNuner and others. Col. Pinkney 
Caldwell, a gallant and distinguished soldier, was killed 
while entering the place from a trip to the east. Families 
were speedily "forted" into log houses and the suburbs left 
to be plundered. Over two thousand horses and mules, 
herded on the prairie, were easily captured. The Indians 
r etired, camping on Spring creek, three miles north of town, 
for the night, but returned next day, killed several persons 
and added largely to their herds ; then passed down nine 
miles, where they captured Mrs. Crosby, a grand-daughter 



OF GEN BEN McCULLOCH. 61 

of Daniel Boone, and her child. Thence they passed across 
the prairie during the night, twenty-five miles in the direction 
of Linnville, on the bay. They killed one or two teamsters 
on the way and camped for a portion of the night. Linnville 
was a small sea-port, its warehouses containing three hundred 
thousand dollars worth of goods for the Mexican trade. At 
sunrise, August Sth, the vast cavalcade approached the 
unsuspecting town, the few people astir supposing it to be 
herds of animals coming in for sale. Not a gun was fit for 
use in the place. A moment undeceived the observers and 
shouts of alarm were raised. Some one, whose head was 
cool, shouted for the people to rush for the boats. There 
were several small boats anchored about a hundred yards 
from the shore, and every one that could, took the advice. 
Most of the people got to the boats by wading, but a few 
were followed into the shallow water and killed. Among 
the latter was Capt. H. O. Watts, recently married. He was 
killed in the water, his young bride seized by an Indian and 
dragged back. Her negro woman and boy were also taken. 
In entering the town, they had killed O'Neal and two negro 
men. The marauders, thus left in quiet possession of Linn- 
ville, proceeded to pack seven hundred mules and horses 
with the rich booty — then set fire to and burned the town. 

"During the succeeding night the Indians, richly laden 
with booty and having about three thousand loose horses and 
mules, began their retreat to their mountain homes. In the 
meantime, the alarm had been spread by couriers over a 
vast expanse of country, and the people were rallying by 
companies, under their accustomed chiefs, from all sections. 
Gonzales sent out a company under Ben McCulloch, Guada- 
lupe (at present DeWitt county) a company under John J. 
Tomlinson, and the Lavaca settlement one under Adam 
Zumwalt. These three small bodies having united, con- 
fronted the retreating Indians sixteen miles east of Victoria 
on the next day, August 9th. A skirmish ensued, but they 
were too few to charge seven times their number in the open 
prairie — the weather intensely hot — and the defiant savages 
sullenly, but proudly moved off in possession of all their 
gains. McCulloch, in the zeal of his youthful heroism, 
pleaded with the men to follow him in a charge into their 



62 THE LIFE AND SER VICES 

midst, but older heads hesitated, and the ardor of youth was 
controlled by their hesitancy. Chagrined beyond measure, 
McCulloch quit the command and resolved to be in at the 
death, riding night and day, by a circuitous route passed the 
Indians, and actually succeeded in playing a distinguished 
part with an entirely different corps in the overwhelming 
victory on the iarh, three days later. 

" The Indians, with their immense booty, slowly retreated, 
followed for a day or so, in the distance, by the force pre- 
viously named, reinforced by one or two small detachments. 
But while these events were transpiring, other portions of the 
country were rallying in companies and detachments. 
During the night of August nth, eighty-seven men arrived 
by different routes on Plum creek, near the present site of the 
town of Lockhart, and near the trail made by the Indians in 
their descent towards the coast, having learned they were 
retreating by that same route. These men were commanded 
in small companies by Capt. Mathew Caldwell, of Gonzales, 
James Bird, of the same place, and Lafayette Ward, of 
Jackson. The writer [Col. John Henry Brown, of Dallas, 
Texas] was a boy in the last named company. Gen. Felix 
Huston, with one man, joined us about midnight. We knew 
the Indians were still below, and placed sentinels on the trail 
four miles out to report their approach ; and our company, 
after four days' and nights' march, with one hour's sleep, 
laid down to rest. We slept from one o'clock until daylight 
when the spies announced the approach of the enemy three 
or four miles distant. In ten minutes every man was in his 
saddle. We all looked to Caldwell as our leader — a perfect 
man in Indian warfare — but when paraded he first put the 
question : ' Boys, there are eight hundred or one thousand 
Indians — they have our women and children prisoners — they 
have repulsed our men below — we are eighty-seven strong, 
and I believe can whip h — 11 out of 'em! Boys, shall we 
fight?' The answer was a universal 'Yes! yes! Fight, 
fight! ' The noble old warrior, in the modesty of his nature, 
then moved that General Huston (then major-general of 
militia) be invited to take the chief command. No one 
wished it so, but every one voted aye. We all thought that 
Burleson, Caldwell, Ben McCulloch, and such men, should 



OF GEN BEN McCULLOCH. 63 

be our leaders in Indian warfare, and had no relish for a 
militiaman, though brave and competent in the conduct of 
war. In short, we wanted 'Old Paint' to command; but 
our old favorite, speaking almost in a whisper, said: 4 Boys, 
gratify me by voting aye ! * and we did. 

11 We were then on horseback and at once marched from 
our camp along a trail in the timber to an open glade, sepa- 
rated from the main prairie by a skirt of elms on a branch- 
Just then Owen Hardeman came dashing up, saying: — 

"'Colonel Burleson with one hundred men and thirteen 
Tancahua (pronounced Tonkaway) Indians is near by and 
wants you to wait for him ! ' 

" This reinforcement swelled the Texian force to two hun- 
dred. While waiting for Burleson, the Indians, with their 
seven hundred pack mules and three thousand loose animals, 
came in sight and were passing obliquely across our front, 
bedecked in every fancy manner, with fluttering ribbons 
streaming in the breeze, and other gaudy appendages of 
savage finery, wholly unconscious of our proximity, sanguine 
of immunity from further attack and singing savage songs 
of victory, pirouetting across the prairie and having a grand 
jollification generally. 

"Huston arranged the plan of attack. We were to be 
formed in three sides of a hollow square, Caldwell to com- 
mand the left, Burleson the right and Thomas Monroe 
Hardeman, of blessed memory, the rear. Glorious old 
Burleson, wearing a coon-skin cap, came up at half speed, 
and in response to a whispered cheer, said, ' Howdy, boys ! 
no time for cheers now. Men, fall into line and form the 
right wing ! ' In the twinkling of an eye we were off at 
half speed in good order, approaching the Indians on their 
rear, right oblique, the prairie for two miles being covered 
with them and their caballado of pack-mules and loose ani- 
mals. When reaching the plain on which they were moving, 
they were about one mile in our front, and for the first time 
beheld us. 

"The machinery of a clock never more promptly yielded 
to the motion of the pendulum than did that heterogeneous 
body of savages at the shrill whistle of their great chief — he 
who wore the enormous plumage of feathers, and rode a 



64 THE LIFE AND SERVICES 

gaily caparisoned horse of Arabian beauty. As if by electric 
motion, the warriors were rallied and formed as a bulwark 
between us and their packs, animals, women and children. 
A few of their men were in the rear, bringing up animals 
from the bottoms of Plum creek, and as we advanced at half 
speed, a few of our men, mounted upon the fleetest of horses, 
darted from our ranks to cut them off. The scene stirred 
every heart. Warriors rushed back to cover their retreating 
fellows, and soon the contest was pell-mell, and hand to 
hand." 

Among that adventurous little band of Texians, the 
names of Ben and Henry McCulloch, Andrew Neill, A. B. 
Sweitzer, Arch Gipson, C. C. De Witt, John Henry Brown, 
Reed and Alsey Miller, are now remembered. 

"The Indians were speedily formed in a compact mass, 
and we had approached to within a distance of one hundred 
and fifty yards of them, when, to the astonishment of every 
Indian fighter present, General Huston called a halt, and 
ordered us to dismount in our hollow square form. This was 
the fatal error of the day. There we remained for thirty or 
forty precious minutes, during which time the warriors were 
dexterously engaging us, while their squaws and old and 
unarmed men were pressing the immense cavalcade of pack 
animals and loose horses forward to the mountains of the Rio 
Blanco and San Marcos. At the same time, their sharp- 
shooters were inflicting on us and our horses serious damage. 
In this short interval prodigies of valor were wrought by the 
McCulloch brothers, Sweitzer, Neill, Gipson, De Witt and 
Placido, the Tancahua chief, of glorious memory. But the 
keen eye of Ben McCulloch quickly took in the situation of 
affairs, and galloping up to General Huston, bareheaded and 
eye flashing, he said, in the presence of the writer: — 

" ' General Huston, this is no way to fight Indians ; they 
are fooling with us. They are running off with their captives 
and plunder — order a charge, and we can kill hundreds, and 
rescue the women and children?' 

" 'All right, Ben, a charge it is then! Mount, and 
charge ! ' was the reply of General Huston. 

" Then commenced a running fight of fifteen miles. All 
order was speedily abandoned, and groups of men pursued 



OF GEN. BEN McCULLOCH. 65 

and fought groups of Indians, who soon abandoned their 
immense booty and only fought for life. They scattered in 
all directions, and were followed accordingly. The grand 
feathered chief being killed early in the action, the second, or 
buffalo-horned chief, remained. He wore a cap of buffalo's 
head, surmounted with dressed horns of the same animal, 
and had been conspicuous throughout the action. It was 
the privilege of the writer [Col. John Henry Brown] to kill 
that distinguished warrior in a running contest. Soon after, 
the buffalo-horned head-gear was deposited in the museum 
of Cincinnati by the Hon. John Hayes, and for nearly a half 
century, it has remained there, bearing, substantially, this 
inscription : ' Cap of an Indian chief, killed by a Texas boy, 
in the battle of Plutn creek, August 12, 1840V " 

Hundreds of incidents are omitted illustrative of details 
and individual prowess. It would be unjust, however, not to 
say that the Tancahua chief, Placido, won the admiration 
of every one by his reckless daring. While dismounted, 
and the skirmishing was progressing (Placido and his 
Tancahuas having accompanied Burleson on foot), he 
mounted a milk-white horse, from which a Comanche had 
been shot, and knowing the difficulty of our distinguish- 
ing him from the Comanches, tied a white rag to his naked 
arm, and dashing through our hollow square, exhibiting the 
badge, and exclaiming in Spanish: "2~<? soy amigo ! Soy 
Don Placido /" (I am a friend! I am Placido!) and thence 
darted into the midst of the enemy, flying arrows hither and 
thither, till he was enveloped by the enemy, and, but for a 
prompt and daring rescue, most have fallen at the hands of his 
hereditary enemies — his ultimate destiny, though not then 
evolved from the womb of fate. He was murdered by the 
wild tribes at Fort Cobb, during the late war. 

About the time of the skirmish on the Marcado creek, 
cast of Victoria, Dr. Bell, a gallant gentleman, just from 
Kentucky, was killed by the Indians on Texana and Victoria 
road ; his companion, John S. Menefee, being wounded 
seven times by arrows, yet effecting his escape, and continues 
to the present date to preserve, as souvenirs of that trying 
occasion, the arrows shot into his body. 



66 THE LIFE AND SER VICES 

Ben McCulloch was invited by President Lamar to accept 
a position in the column which marched upon the unfortunate 
Santa Fe expedition, but he declined, as he had no confidence 
in the wisdom of the enterprise, a decision which bore ample 
testimony to his penetrating view and sound judgment. 

The spring of 184 1 was rendered remarkable by the fre- 
quency of Indian raids, and Ben McCulloch was constantly 
on the war-path. In one of his many expeditions at this 
period, he followed a band of Comanches up the Guadalupe 
river to its source, and down the Johnson fork of the Llano 
river to its confluence with the main stream, where he found 
the Indians resting in fancied security, and entirely unappre- 
hensive of danger. He surprised them at day-light by firing 
into, and immediately making a rush upon, the camp, killing 
four and dispersing the remainder. Their horses, mules and 
camp equipage fell into the hands of the Texians. He then 
explored the beautiful valley of the Llano, which, in many 
places, was then for the first time trodden by the feet of white 
men ; and such a favorable impression did it make in his 
mind, that he returned the following winter to survey and 
locate lands thereabout. 

In the spring of 1842, Ben first, and then Henry, were 
urged to become candidates for a seat in Congress, both 
declining and announcing their purpose of supporting Hon. 
W. D. Miller for that position, who was elected and served 
in the ensuing Congress. 

In March, 1842, the Mexican general Vasquez, at the 
head of a considerable cavalry corps, made a descent on the 
town of San Antonio. Jack Hayes hastily collected the raw 
and scanty material at hand, which comprised but a few 
more than a hundred men, for the defence of the place, send- 
ing Ben McCulloch to ascertain, if possible, the force and 
purpose of the enemy, for it was learned from Mexican 
sources that an invasion was intended and that a large force 
of infantry and artillery would support the column of Vas- 
quez. He set out on his hazardous mission with but one 
companion, brave and faithful Alsey S. Miller, — first point- 
ing out to Hayes the necessity for a picket at the crossing of 
the Medina river, as a guard against surprise. He proceeded 
to the Honda, and secreting himself in the chaparral, actually 



OF GEN BEN McCULLOCH. 67 

counted the men of Vasquez as they leisurely marched by. He 
then pushed on towards the Rio Grande, and after satisfying 
himself that no reserve was on hand to follow the cavalry, 
returned by way of the mountains north of San Antonio, as 
Hayes had hastily retired to the Guadalupe river on the 
appearance of Vasquez. 

It was said that Col. Juan N. Seguin planned this raid to 
prevent the holding of the spring term of the district court ; 
at all events, he returned to Mexico with Vasquez, and 
although he had fought to secure the independence of Texas, 
and had served in the Texas senate and been honored in 
repeated acts of the legislature, he commanded a regiment 
in the raiding party of General Woll upon the same town in 
the succeeding autumn, and, it is alleged, commanded the 
troops which massacred the gallant Dawson and his com- 
rades, after they had raised the white flag and thrown down 
their arms This is vouched for by Alsey S. Miller and 
others, who made their escape at the time. 

Ben McCulloch was absent on a visit to friends on the 
Colorado river when this latter raid occurred, in the fall of 
the same year, and though he hastened to the threatened 
point, arrived too late to participate in the battle of the 
Salado and to aid his compatriots with his wise counsel. 

Soon after this a company was organized for service in 
the mountains and plains north and west of San Antonio, 
which will always rank as the very gamest of all the many 
organizations whose knightly deeds enyeloped the name of 
"Texian Ranger" in wreathings of glory, of which John C. 
Hayes was captain and Ben McCulloch first lieutenant. The 
latter was forced, by business engagements, to resign soon 
after the organization of the troop, and at his instance his 
friend R. A. Gillespie was elected his successor. McCul- 
loch, however, rejoined the company soon after it took to the 
field, and continued with it in all its battles, scouts and skir- 
mishes in the humble capacity of a private soldier, until the 
Lone Star of Texas was added to the glorious galaxy of the 
Union. 

The fight with Yellow Wolf on the Pierdenales, in which 
sixteen of this troop fought in the open prairie seventy-five 
Comanches for a half day, will always remain one of the 



68 THE LIFE AND SER VICES 

most remarkable episodes of border warfare to be found in 
the annals of any land. 

This was the first engagement with the Comanches in 
which Colt's revolvers were employed, and the engraving, so 
familiar for many years on the cylinders of those of subse- 
quent manufacture, was designed to represent this battle. 
Yellow Wolf was wont to say in after years that the rangers 
would not have been victorious had not he and his "untu- 
tored" children imagined that the repeating little guns- were 
" medicine," or supernatural. 

But the data, alas, is wanting to follow them step by step 
along the path to glory, the fruit of which, in most instances, 
was neglect, if, indeed, not direct ingratitude, the stereo- 
typed impeachment of republics. 

Ben McCulloch was chosen a representative from Gon- 
zales county to the first legislature of Texas, which assem- 
bled immediately after the annexation of the State to the 
American Union. 

But Mexico had no idea of parting with her vast and fer- 
tile province without striking a blow for its preservation, and 
General Arista crossed the Rio Grande in force, whereupon 
General .Zachary Taylor, moving from Corpus Christi to 
Matamoras, apprehending the Mexicans would oppose him 
"upon American soil" with superior numbers, as they very 
easily could have done, dispatched an express to the settle- 
ments of Texas for aid, and in an incredibly short space the 
regiments of Jack Hayes and Woods were en route, being 
preceded, however, as the narrative will show, by the gallant 
company of Walker and the incomparable troop of peerless 
Ben McCulloch. 



OF GEN. BEN McCULLOCH. 69 



CHAPTER IV. 



Thus matters stood when the express from General Tay- 
lor arrived, and foremost of all the daring spirits of the border 
awaiting an opportunity to balance accounts with the perfi- 
dious Mexican enemy, was Ben McCulloch, who immediately 
responded to the appeal, and in thirty-six hours after the arri- 
val of the express he had raised a cavalry company, com- 
posed of the best young men living on the Guadalupe river, 
and was ready to take the field. The frugal wants of the 
Rangers obviated all necessity for the cumbrous wagon-train, 
and they always proceeded in light marching order, through 
which means McCulloch was enabled to perform those rapid 
and secret movements and daring scouts, which contributed 
more than any other cause, to swell the fame of the Texian 
Ranger. At this period, 1846, he was thirty-five years of 
age, rather lean, sinewy, and a fine horseman. In manner 
he was always plain and unpretending, socially given to 
mirth. He was regarded by all who knew him as a safe, 
brave and successful frontier captain. The company reached 
San Patricio on the thirteenth of May, and there received 
intelligence of the battles of Palo Alto and Resaca de la 
Palma, fought on the eighth and ninth of May. 

The " boys" felt chagrined that they had failed to 
arrive in time to participate in the engagements, but 
were gratified that Walker and his Texians had well sus- 
tained the name and fame of the Rangers. However, 
being satisfied that they would yet find opportunities of 
crossing lances with the enemy, the march was resumed 
from Corpus Christi and thence down Padre Island to Point 
Isabel. The route from Corpus Christi was along the beaeh 
until at a point twenty miles distant, when the Laguna 
Madre, an arm of the sea, and some five miles wide at the 



70 THE LIFE AND SEE VICES 

ford, was crossed, and at 12 m., the nineteenth of May, the 
shipping, lying in front of Point Isabel, was descried. The 
men and horses were passed over to the mainland, and on the 
afternoon of the twenty-second took up the line of march for 
Matamoras, encamping that night near the battle field of Palo 
Alto, and at noon the next day passed that of Resaca de la 
Palma, upon which remained many evidences of the recent 
conflict. The company encamped at Matamoras, until June 
12th, when McCulloch received orders to follow the trail of 
Gen. Arista's retreating columns as far as practicable, pierce 
the country in the direction of Linares, ascertain the condition 
of the road, the quantity of water to be had, etc. ; to learn if 
the route could be used as the line of march for a large divi- 
sion with artillery and wagon trains. 

But before proceeding, we will allow Mr. Samuel C. Reid, 
author of "McCulloch's Rangers, etc.," to whose pages we 
are so much indebted, to describe his introduction to Captain 
McCulloch. 

"Mr. Kendall, of the New Orleans Picayune, intro- 
duced us to Capt. Ben McCulloch, the celebrated partisan 
scout. He is a man of rather delicate frame, about six feet 
in height, with light hair and complexion. His features 
are regular and pleasing, though, from long exposure on the 
frontier, they have a weather beaten cast. His quick and 
bright blue eye, with a mouth of thin, compressed lips, indi- 
cate the cool, calculating, as well as the brave and daring 
energy of the man. 

"Being informed that I was anxious to join his company, 
after running his eye over me, he asked, ' Have you a good 
horse, sir? for,' said he, ' I have refused a great many 
because their horses would not do for our service.' My 
horse was then inspected, and being pronounced k a good 
one,' I was immediately made a 'Texas Ranger.' 

"To mislead the enemy's spies, who were at all times lurk- 
king around, as to his purposes, McCulloch took the road to 
Reynosa, as if en route to join the command of Col. Wilson, 
then stationed at that point, and proceeded on that road to 
the Rancho Guadalupe, where the company encamped for the 
night ; the men regaling themselves with green corn and 
melons, of which the ranch afforded an abundance. 



OF GEN. BEN McCULLOCH. 71 

" Every thing consumed was paid for on the spot, as the 
strictest orders were issued prohibiting all manner of depre- 
dations on the property of the Mexicans. It was reserved 
for the warfare between the two enlightened sections of our 
own country to place a premium upon wanton destruction, 
and evolve that most despicable counterfeit on humanity, the 
'bummer.' 

" Resuming the march in the morning, McCulloch con- 
tinued in the direction of Reynosa, until the rancheros were 
out of sight, when he turned abruptly in the direction of the 
road leading to the town of Linares. General Arista, in his 
hasty flight, chose this route, it would seem, in the hope that 
pursuit would be impossible through the broken and barren 
region, which was also almost destitute of water. 

"On the third day out, and just before day, the Texian 
sentinels challenged a party of Mexicans who were traveling 
toward Matamoras. Captain McCulloch and a number of 
the men were saddling their horses preparatory to an early 
start, and as soon as the ' challenge ' reached his ear, McCul- 
loch mounted and rode out toward the Mexicans. 

ili J^uien vtveP' (who comes there?) challenged the 
leader of the Mexicans., 

" L Amigos, y (friends,) replied McCulloch, riding up. 

" '•Nuestros amigos — los malditos Americanos I (our 
friends — the detested Americans) cried the ranchero, pre- 
senting his escopette at McCulloch's breast. 

" 'Saddle up, men, and follow me! ' shouted the Ranger 
chief, as he clapped spurs to his horse and went charging 
into the midst of the astounded Mexicans. 

"The commotion in the Texian camp revealed to the 
rancheros that they were in the presence of a large party, 
where they had not dreamed of meeting more than a few 
scouts, and they fled in consternation, and separated like 
frightened quail in the dense chaparral, which was but a few 
hundred yards distant. But so closely were they pursued by 
the Rangers, coming to the rescue of their chief, that several 
of them abandoned their horses, guns and pistols. The 
leader of this party was, as was subsequently ascertained, the 
atrocious robber, Bias Falcon, who had but a short while 
before murdered Colonel Cross. 



72 THE LIFE AND SERVICES 

"A young Ranger was injured by the falling of his 
horse during the chase so severely as to necessitate his return 
to Matamoras, and as it was deemed unsafe for him to travel 
the route alone, a number of the men were detailed to escort 
him back. McCulloch, with his force now reduced to thirty- 
five men, proceeded on his way. 

"'It would be difficult,' says Mr. Kendall, who accom- 
panied the party, ' to picture the astonishment and alarm at 
the different ranches as the Rangers entered them, or the 
consternation of those upon whom we came suddenly upon 
the road. By forced night marches our commander fre- 
quently got upon the other side of some of the settlements, 
and rode into them, as if direct from Monterey or Linares, 
and going toward Matamoras. By doubling and twisting 
about, they were completely thrown off the scent, and were 
willing to answer any questions with a readiness which 
showed that they thought life or death depended on their 
alacrity.' " 

A supply of corn sufficient for the feed of the horses for 
two days was procured at El Ebonilla, which was the last to 
be had on the road. It may be stated en ■passant, that James 
Allen, the second lieutenant and acting commissary, carried 
a quantity of specie in his saddle pockets, with which to pay 
for supplies purchased of the inhabitants. The further 
advance was limited necessarily to the time the corn could 
be made to last, and the company pushed in the wake of 
their silent but vigilant chief, — passing the scene of several of 
Arista's late encampments, the ground of which was always 
strewn with rags and cast-off shoes and sandals which the 
soldiers had left behind. 

The command camped June 20th in a pleasant mesquite 
grove, around which the horses found an abundance of excel- 
lent grass, but Mexican shepherds stated that there was no 
water to be found on the road between this point and 
Linares, a distance of sixty miles. McCulloch dispatched 
Lieutenant McMullen with ten men to examine a water-hole 
about ten miles ahead, which was marked on the map as 
*' unfailing." McMullen pushed on to the water-hole and 
found it dry, and continued thence to within thirty miles of 



OF GEN BEN McCULLOCH. 73 

Linares, and returned to camp with the unwelcome intelli- 
gence that there was no water ahead. 

"This was the first instance," says Mr. Reid, "in which 
we had discovered a mistake on our chart, it being for the 
most part admirably correct. The map was furnished to 
Captain McCulloch by General Taylor, being an accurate 
copy of one found in General Arista's military chest, captured 
at the battle of Resaca de la Palma. If was a most minute 
and accurate picture of the face of the country between the 
Rio Grande and the Sierra Madre, every ranch and village, 
every road and mountain path, every pond and streamlet, 
were marked down with a truthfulness and precision which 
we found but rarely at fault, and which, considering the vast 
extent of country represented, was really astonishing. The 
map was common property in camp, and we all studied it so 
well that we soon had a thorough knowledge of the face and 
bearing of the whole country stretching from the mountains 
to the Rio Grande. This knowledge was of much import- 
ance to all of us, as frequently during our scouts a separation 
of the command was unavoidable, and often a Ranger would 
have to depend on his own knowledge and skill to pilot him- 
self through many miles of a wilderness into camp." 

Becoming assured that this route was impracticable to 
the march of a division, McCulloch struck across to the 
road leading from Matamoras to Monterey, hoping to strike 
General Canales, who was recruiting rancheros at a point on 
that road not distant. It was also ascertained that Arista had 
moved to Monterey, leaving only a garrison of one thousand 
men at Linares. It will be as well to state here that McCul- 
loch reported in favor of the route' via Camargo and Cer- 
ralvo, and the one adopted by General Taylor. 

Now, in quest of the " Chaparral Fox," as Canales was 
called, McCulloch led his men in a course at a right angle 
from the one they had been pursuing. It was the twenty- 
first day of June, the longest, and the men thought ere it was 
done, also the hottest and dryest of the year. A shepherd, 
forced to accompany the corps as a guide, warned McCul- 
loch that there was no water on this roadj while on another, 
which led by a circuitous route to the same point, there 
was water ; but mistrusting the guide and deeming the sec- 



74 THE LIFE AND SER VICES 

ond road named impracticable to the urgency of the matter 
in hand by reason of the greater distance necessary to be 
traversed, he pushed on. Men and horses suffered from 
thirst and heat. Says Mr. Reid : — 

"The poor beasts seemed to feel the heat more sensibly, 
if possible, than the men, and the tardy step, the half-closed 
eye, the drooping head and the panting and expanded nos- 
tril plainly manifested the degree and extent of their suffer- 
ings. Water was demanded on every side. We had emp- 
tied our canteens and gourds early in the day, and were 
suffering intolerably from thirst. 

" 'Water! Can't that infernal guide find water,' shouted 
a voice in the rear. 

" 'Keep quiet there, men,' said McCulloch, 'scatter out 
on both sides of the road, and see if you can find water.' " 

A. water-hole was found containing a limited supply of 
warm, muddy water. The captain stood guard over it until 
the men had quenched their thirst and filled their canteens, 
when he drank himself and signified that the horses could 
now be watered. But for this precaution, the men would 
have rushed into the already turbid water, and it would soon 
have been rendered unfit for the use of man or beast. 

Bivouacking here until morning, the scout was resumed 
at early dawn. The train of a merchant, who was transfer- 
ring his goods to Monterey, was overtaken, and the poor fel- 
low imagined he had fallen into the clutches of robbers. 
Great was his surprise and relief when Lieutenant Allen 
counted out good golden dollars in payment for some corn 
beef purchased. At noon of the same day the mail carriei 
from Monterey to Matamoras was met, and the contents of 
his pouch overhauled, McCulloch retaining only the official 
correspondence, to be forwarded to General Taylor, restoring 
the post-man the remainder, and he went on his way rejoic- 
ing. Losing the trail of Canales, McCulloch turned into 
Reynosa, occupied by the advance of the American army, 
who, seeing in the distance a body of cavalry approaching, 
apparently from Monterey, made preparation to resist an 
attack, and a laugh at their own expense went the round 
when the Rangers had approached near enough to disclose 
their identity. 



OF GEN. BEN McCULLOCH. 75 

McCulloch afterwards learned that at one time he really 
had been within a few miles of Canales, and Mr. Kendall, in 
a letter to the press, wrote: — 

" That he was aware of Captain McCulloch being in his 
neighorhood, there is but little doubt, but whether he was una- 
ble to catch up with the hurried and complicated movements 
of the Texians, or afraid to meet them, I cannot say. I 
speak of their movement as 'hurried and complicated,' 
because, from the time of our leaving Matamoras and until 
Reynosa was reached, the men did not take off coats, boots 
or spurs ; not a change of linen was carried by them ; and 
although we experienced rain much of the time, and two 
heavy 'northers' visited us while encamped, there was not a 
minute when any man's pistol or rifle would have missed fire, 
or he would not have been up and ready for an attack. I 
have seen a goodly number of volunteers in my time, but 
Capt. Ben. McCulloch and his men are choice specimens." 

The company was encamped in a shady grove on the out- 
skirts of Reynosa, and thus ended the first scout of McCul- 
loch in Mexico, after accomplishing in a most satisfactory 
manner all the designs of General Taylor. 

Reynosa was noted for the hatred of its population for the 
" Gringos," as the Mexicans call the Americans, and as 
being the general rendezvous of thieves and robbers who had 
depredated upon the Texians for ten years. Here, too, the 
unfortunate " Mier prisoners" were treated in a cruel and 
barbarous manner as they were marched through en route for 
the dungeon of Perote. Many of the cut-throats were recog- 
nized, especially the red-handed murderers of the Rogers 
family, who, with brazen effrontery, paraded themselves 
with impunity. Yet such was the mild, conciliatory policy 
of the United States government, that the men were forced 
to forbear any act prompted by a desire for revenge. These 
good people daily ventured the information that some redoubt- 
able Mexican chief would certainly slaughter the whole gar- 
rison the next night. Sometimes it was Canales who would 
execute vengeance in the name of insulted Mexican sover- 
eignty, and at other times it was the renegade, Col. Juan N. 
Seguin, the same who so gallantly, ten years before, led the 
Mexican company in the cause of Texian independence on 



76 THE LIFE AND SER VICES 

the field of San Jacinto. But Mexican vengeance was no^ 
executed then ; its excesses at the fall of the Alamo and La 
Bahia had drawn to their own doors an avenging Nemesis, 
not by slaughtering defenseless prisoners of war, but 
through the humiliation of an arrogant, upstart, mongrel 
government. 

The steamer "Aid" had j-ust discharged her cargo, and 
was about to return to Matamoras, and Captain McCulloch 
availed himself of the opportunity thus presented to go down 
for the remainder of the company. Lieutenant McMullen 
was left in command, "and," says Reid, "it could not have 
devolved on a better man." He had been in the battle of 
Mier, and participated in that fearful "black-bean" lottery 
of death, and drawing a white bean, was spared only to 
experience the rigors of imprisonment in a Mexican dungeon. 
But the kind conduct of the Mexican women in alleviating 
the sufferings of the miserable Texians proclaimed them not 
unworthy of the angelic sisterhood, which, as a matter of 
mere justice, should be perpetuated. 

McMullen was wont to relate the following episode of 
his captivity :■ — 

iL En route to the City of Mexico, we arrived at the town 
of San Miguel el Grande, where we were imprisoned for some 
time. Previous to being locked up, Colonel Ortice, who 
was the kindest of our various task-masters, marched us 
through the town to see the objects of interest. We were 
objects of great curiosity to the inhabitants, who flocked in 
numbers to see us. Our garments were soiled and tattered, 
and our condition most wretched. As we passed the doors, 
the women pitied us very much, and after we were locked in, 
the girls came and threw cakes and other eatables over the 
wall to us, though the same was strictly forbidden. On our 
arrival at Tacubaya, near the capital, Mrs. Tobias and other 
French ladies determined to give us a dinner, as we were 
nearly starved to death. The Mexican officers, however, 
would not permit us to accept it, when the indignation of the 
citizens became so great that they were forced to open our 
prison doors, and if ever poor mortals enjoyed a dinner, we 
certainly did that one. To sit down once more to a table in 
in a civilized manner, with a snow-white cloth and every lux- 



OF GEN. BEN McCULLOCH. 77 

ury about, after the long deprivations we had suffered, was 
enjoyable indeed. The ladies were delighted and seemed to 
enjoy the fun as much as we did the feast. 

"After we were released from the dingy prison of Mex- 
ico, we were invited to the house of Senor Flores, the splen- 
dor of which quite dazzled us. The walls were beautifully 
painted, instead of being papered, as with us ; the furniture 
was very costly, and all the surroundings accorded with it. 
There were many young ladies present, one of whom played 
on the piano and sang a song for us. One of us was then 
requested to sing, and having been told that I sang a comic 
song, the ladies at once pressed me into service, entreating 
that I would favor them with the song. I complied, of 
course, stopping until each verse was translated, before com- 
mencing another, at their instance, several of our men speak- 
ing Spanish fluently. My song caused a great deal of merri- 
ment and hearty laughter. A dance was next proposed, but 
not caring to make a greater display of the seat of my trous- 
ers than necessary— for none of us were arrayed in a whole 
suit — I resolutely kept my seat upon the sofa. But there was 
no getting off; no excuse would be accepted, and I was 
forced to take position at the side of a fair girl upon the floor. 
My bashfulness was extreme, and the mischievous girls dis- 
covering the cause, for, fortunately, I was not the only one 
in the scrape, enjoyed the fun to the utmost. After the 
dance was done, and refreshments had been served, what 
was our surprise to discover that our kind-hearted and gen- 
erous host had procured any quantity of. clothing for us! I 
was shown into a room where a bath had been prepared for 
me, and shortly after, while making my toilet, several of the 
ladies came in and insisted on aiding to dress me. They 
combed my hair with their own delicate hands, arranged my 
fine linen collar, and tied in a 'love-knot' the red silk sash 
about my waist, all the while taking evident delight in my 
but too apparent confusion, and their conversation was 
repeatedly interrupted by merry peals of laughter. Having 
completed my toilet to their satisfaction, they brought a mir- 
ror, and I assure you that I never appeared to better advan- 
tage in my life. I could only express my gratitude by 
kissing their hands, and one of my most grateful remembran- 



78 THE LIFE AND SER VICES 

ces is sacred to Senor Flores, his family and the angelic ladies 
of Mexico." 

Immediately after McCulloch's departure, McMullen was 
called upon to furnish a detail of men to bear an express to 
Matamoras ; accordingly, five Rangers in charge of Sergeant 
Arch. Gipson proceeded on this duty, which reduced the com- 
pany to about twenty-five men. Receiving intelligence that 
Canales and some of his officers would attend a fandango 
some five or six miles distant, McMullen determined to effect 
their capture, if possible. The command set out on this 
expedition after dark, and in due time the ranch was 
reached. 

"The scene which presented itself," says Reid, "as we 
approached, was beautiful and unique. The dancing was 
performed in the open air, and the bright fires kindled at dif- 
ferent points, the candles and torches moving to and fro, the 
animated groups of revellers clustered on every side, the 
white muslin robes of the girls prettily contrasting in the fire- 
light with the dusky apparel of their partners, while gay 
forms replete with life and motion bounded in the lively 
dance, or floated in the graceful waltz, in sweet accord with 
the spirit-stirring strains of music which the night breeze 
wafted to our ears — all made a scene beautiful indeed." 

The place was surrounded, "and before the revellers 
dreamed of danger, found their scene of festivity encom- 
passed by a ring of Texian rifles. Never was a scene of 
rejoicing more speedily turned into one of dismay and confu- 
sion. The women shrieked and fluttered about like a flock 
of frightened doves on the sudden appearance of a hawk. 
The men shouted in alarm, ' The Americans are upon us ! ' 
and bolted right and left to make their escape, but on all 
sides were met by the muzzles of the rifles, and a gruff voice 
saying, ' Stand back or I'll shoot you down ! ' " 

The party were completely entrapped, and finding all 
avenues of escape closed, gathered about an old drunken fel- 
low who was dancing in their midst, and singing: "We are 
poor honest people, what have we to fear from our ene- 
mies?" While this scene was being enacted out of doors, 
McMullen was busily engaged in the house, turning over 
tables, Rooking under beds, and examining carefully every 



OF GEN BEN McCULLOCH. 79 

nook and corner that could possibly conceal a fugitive. 
None were found, however, and either Canales and party 
had left the fandango before we arrived, or our information 
in regard to his purposed attendance was false. The revel- 
lers were assured by McMullen's explanation to the effect 
that he heard the music in passing, and only halted to look 
on their merry-making a few moments. They insisted that 
we should partake of refreshments and join in the dance, and 
soon two or three of the best dancers laid aside their guns, 
and picking out the prettiest girls for partners, took their 
places in the set ; the remainder of the squad looked on, with 
rifles ready in hand. We had seen some pretty tall dancing, 
but the feats witnessed that evening exceeded anything of the 
kind ever dreamed of before. The Texians admirably exe- 
cuted the "double-shuffle," the "Virginny break-down," 
the "Kentucky heel-tap," the "pigeon-wing," the "Arkan- 
saw hoe-down," and the "back-balance lick," with uproar- 
ious applause and irresistible effect. The Mexican girls 
were so completely captivated that they entirely slighted 
their old lovers, and were quarreling with one another 
as to which should next dance with "los buenos Amer- 
icanos." But after several sets had been danced, McMul- 
len deemed it time to return, and so, pledging the gazelle- 
eyed senoritas in a draught of mescal, the Rangers mounted 
and rode away. 

The " boys" participated in the festivities com non to St. 
Juan's day in Mexico, and pursued a band of robbers who 
had robbed and maltreated an old Mexican citizen in a sav- 
age manner when Captain McCulloch returned with the 
remainder of the company from Matamoras, and the whole 
moved up to Camargo. 

On the twenty-second of July a runner reached the Amer- 
ican camp with the intelligence that a large body of Coman- 
ches were depredating upon the citizens a few miles up the 
river, and General Worth instructed McCulloch to take thirty 
of his best mounted men and repair to the scene, to hold a 
parley with them, if possible, and avoid a collision. It 
required but a few moments for the men to prepare, and 
soon "Captain Ben" rode forth at the head of fifteen double 
files. Fortunately, the steamer " Enterprise " was making 



80 THE LIFE AND SERVICES 

her way slowly up the swollen stream, heavily freighted, 
when the company reached the Rio Grande and transported 
to the opposite side the saddles, blankets and arms of the 
men, and preparation was made for swimming the horses. 

"Now came a stirring scene," says Reid, "in which 
every man had to bear his part. The river, like our own 
Mississippi at times, was swollen excessively, and was sweep- 
ing past at the rate of five miles an hour, and to add to the 
danger of the passage, there were great quantities of drift- 
wood running, and if any of us or our horses should chance 
to become entangled in the branches of the trees that were 
floating down, a speedy passage not only down the stream 
but to eternity, would have been the inevitable consequence. 
There we stood on the banks in the undress uniform of the 
Rangers, our horses rearing, snorting and eyeing the troubled 
waters with evident alarm. 

"'Now, boys, wade into it,' said McCulloch, as he 
vaulted upon his chestnut horse, ' Tom,' and plunged into 
the stream. ' Tom ' was an old war-horse, and felt almost 
as much at home in the water as upon the land, and right 
gallantly did he strike for the opposite shore. McCulloch 
cut a strange figure as he sat bolt. upright on ' Tom,' with his 
hair waving in the wind and the muddy waters breaking 
around his form. About a dozen horses followed him, but 
the rest, after swimming some fifty yards, declined the feat 
and returned to the bank." 

They were finally forced to join "Tom" and his gallant 
rider, however, on the opposite* bank, when a halt was made 
at the "City of the Rio Grande" until a guide could be pro- 
cured. The "City of the Rio Grande" was only a city in 
prospective. It was the property of Clay Davis, an enter- 
prising young Texian, who had acquired the same by marry- 
ing a Mexican heiress, whose property consisted of large 
tracts of wild land. But, alas ! after an interval of over forty 
years, Rio Grande City has 'realized none of the golden 
promises indulged in at -its birth. 

A guide having been procured, the command left the 
" city" about 4 p. m., and struck out in a northerly direction. 
The route lay through the dense and thorny chaparral, 
through which the men pushed their way only with the great- 



OF GEN. BEN McCULLOCH. 81 

est difficulty, their hands, faces and bodies being lacerated 
by the sharp, tough thorns. The guide, a Mexican, mounted 
on a miserable mule, followed the half obliterated trail of the 
Indians, McCulloch close at his heels, and the men, strung 
out in single file, coming after. Yet through these appar- 
ently impassable jungles did the naked Comanches glide like 
spectres and defy pursuit. At nightfall the command 
encamped on a running stream, about which the nutritious 
mesquite grass furnished excellent grazing. The horses were 
" staked out," a guard posted and fires kindled. The moon 
was full, the sky clear and studded with innumerabte stars. 
At midnight the men were aroused from their slumbers by 
the report of a gun. One of the guards had fired at an 
Indian who was prowling about the camp. The horses were 
brought in, and each man slept with arms in hand. Strange 
noises were heard near the camp for some time after the 
alarm, such as the wily Comanches employ in communicat- 
ing with one another: the hooting of owls, screeching of wild 
cats, howling of cayotes, etc. Ere the morning's dawn the 
men prepared their indispensable coffee, and swallowing their 
breakfast of hard bread and dried beef, were soon in the sad- 
dle again. 

"The signs of moccasined feet were thick about the 
camp, but the feet that made the tracks, as our guide 
expressed it, were saca&o, or not about. The poor guide, 
after being paid off here, took his leave of us, but not with- 
out many misgivings, and with all the speed his poor mule 
could make, put back for the ranch." 

McCulloch, who thoroughly understood the habits of the 
Comanches, followed the trail, through prairies, over hills 
and valleys, now winding through the chaparral, and again 
leading over the summit of some height "from which visions 
of beauty and grandeur would burst upon us, which were 
truly sublime. The noble river rolling far beneath ; the hills 
clad in deep, rich green ; the thick covered dells ; the flower- 
enameled plain, and in the background the shadowy outline 
of the distant mountains, all added to the magnificent land- 
scapes which were so frequently spread out before us." 

McCulloch proceeded directly up the river, and many 



82 THE LIFE AND SERVICES 

deserted ranches were passed, the inmates having fled at the 
approach of the Indians. Thus were the soldiers of the 
United States struggling to protect the citizens of a govern- 
ment with whom they were at war, from the implacable com- 
mon enemy of humanity. A number of these refugees were 
descried on the western bank of the river, and McCulloch 
wished to obtain from them information in regard to the 
whereabouts of the Comanches. But they declined his invi- 
tation to cross over, and Lieut. John McMullen, with five men, 
set out in an old canoe, which was found lying on the bank, to 
cross the river and obtain the needed information. Two or 
three of the Mexicans accompanied McMullen on his return, 
and gave a most doleful account of the devastations and 
atrocities perpetrated by the savages. Says Mr. Reid, with 
pardonable irony : — 

"They expressed themselves as delighted that we had 
come to their aid, but forgot not, in the meanwhile, as a 
means of showing their gratitude, to make us pay as high as 
possible for whatever we wished to purchase of them." 

"The route again lay through the thorny chaparral, which, 
in that region, attains often to a height of twenty and even 
thirty feet, and as dense as it is possible to stand. The 
clothing of the men was literally torn from their bodies, 
which were torn and lacerated in a most painful manner. 
Finally, the trail again struck the river, and continued up the 
open valley, much to the relief of the men. A ranch was 
reached which bore the marks of recent depredations. They 
had killed the cattle, driven off the horses and carried off a 
number of children, one, a young woman celebrated for her 
personal charms. A number of their arrows were found 
lying about, but no clew that pointed to their immediate 
whereabouts. The company encamped about two miles 
beyond this ranch. 

The camp selected by McCulloch was on the river bank, 
and in a corn-field, the fence of which afforded some protec- 
tion for the horses, which were turned loose to graze the 
excellent grass, the crop of corn having been gathered. 
Guards were posted and the men sought much needed rest. 
McCulloch, in his ranging expeditions, adopted largely the 
Indian mode of warfare, which fact contributed in no small 



OF GEN BEN McCULLOCH. 83 

degree to the success of an active career, absolutely destitute 
of a single blunder or failure. He never apprehended any 
danger resulting from a night attack, for surprise was impos- 
sible, as the men slept with arms in hand, and were prepared 
at the first signal of danger to spring to their feet, ready for 
whatever might be demanded of them. The safety of the 
horses gave him more care than anything else, and as long 
as he was assured of the safety of these, he feared not the 
wiles of the savage, or the night attack of the Mexicans. 

Some rancheros, who had been attracted by the campfires 
of the Rangers, crossed over, early the next morning and 
stated that the Indians had crossed the river a few miles 
above, the preceding day, and were now supposed to be lurk- 
ing somewhere in the neighborhood of Mier. Again it was 
necessary to swim the river, which was accomplished with 
great labor, fatigue and no little danger. 

"As we approached the place," says Mr. Reid, " it pre- 
sented a beautiful appearance, with its snowy walls and tur- 
rets gleaming in the reflected light of the sun, and its good 
citizens were not a little surprised to find a company of los 
Tejanos so unexpectedly at their doors. Just before entering 
the town we had to ford a beautiful stream which danced 
merrily along, and rippled over its rocky bed, pure, cool and 
limpid as a mountain rivulet. As we rode up, still being 
concealed behind a high brink, a rare sight was presented to 
our view. Some fifty -or sixty young Mexican girls were 
bathing in the lovely stream, making the air ring with their 
merry laughter, and the water foam and splash with their 
sportive agile movements. Occasionally their unveiled charms 
were exposed to our gaze as we peeped cautiously over the 
high bank at the lovely nymphs, who continued their joyous 
sports, totally unconscious of our presence. Every form o£ 
maiden loveliness stood before us, from the girl of eighteen 
to the budding beauty of the laughing child. 

"How long we might have gazed entranced upon thi« 
fair original scene, we cannot pretend to say, for, unfortu- 
nately for us, one of the young girls happened to glance 
above, and descried a long line of stranger-bearded and 
moustached faces peering earnestly over the bank at thenx. 
The sight we now witnessed afforded us the highest merri- 



84 THE LIFE AND SER VICES 

ment. The alarm had been quickly given, and the girls, in 
confusion and dismay, paddling and splashing, quickly made 
for the shore, with screams and shrieks, and scampering 
toward their garments, rcbosas, mantillas and gowns, picked 
up in all directions, were put on in a hurry, and then run- 
ning — such a foot-race for home, half dressed as they were, 
made one of the most amusing and laughable scenes ever 
witnessed." 

McCulloch proceeded, at the head of the company, at 
once to the house of the Alcalde, and made a requisition for 
bread and meat, which was speedily complied with. Many 
of the men, including McMullen, recognized the scene of 
their heroic fight against overwhelming odds a few years 
before, nor were material evidences of the same wanting, as 
the tardy work of repairing left visible many traces of the 
progress of the Texians through the town, until stayed by the 
perfidy of that arch dissimulator, Ampudia. 

The next day, abandoning the Indian scout, McCulloch 
look up the line of march for Camargo, the command swim- 
ming the San Juan river, for the convenience of the pontoon 
train was unknown to those brave and hardy men, who were 
proof against the wiles of the Comanche, the perfidy and 
numbers of the Mexicans, and who scaled mountains, passed 
arid wastes, swimming rivers, threading the dense jungle of 
the thorny chaparral, as if in defiance of the obstacles which 
nature usually employs to curb the adventurous spirit of 
man. 

Col. John S. Ford, who was the adjutant of Jack Hayes's 
regiment, and subsequently one of the most gallant and 
successful Ranger captains in the Texian army, thus presents 
the modes employed by the "Old Rangers" to render life 
endurable, to guard against the night attack of the vigilant 
enemy, and to attain that end themselves : — 

"He would put a layer of grass, or small brush, beneath 
his pallet, to avoid being chilled by the cold ground, and to 
prevent his blankets from becoming saturated in case of rain. 
His gum coat was placed over his saddle and rigging; his 
gun was by his side ; his coat, boots and pistols were used as 
a pillow ; his rations were fastened to his saddle ; his head 
was to the north, and his feet to the fire, if he dared to have 



,/r* 



s'^-WM 






OF GEN. BEN McCULLOCH. 85 

one. Generally he slept with most of his clothes on — ready- 
to spring up and fight at a moment's notice. The least noise 
— of an unusual nature — would awake him, and in an instant 
he would be in fighting trim. In the warfare of those days 
it was victory or death. The Ranger would give quarter, 
but he never asked it ; he died struggling to the last gasp, 
selling his life as dearly as possible. It was a rule of the 
Rangers to camp on the south side of a thicket, — in summer 
he. had the advantage of the south breeze, and in winter it 
afforded protection against the ' northers.' Running streams 
were passed at once, to avoid the possibility of a sudden rise 
and consequent delay. When he reached a swollen stream 
he improvised a ferry in various ways ; one was in the con- 
struction of a raft; another by tying stake-ropes together, 
stretching from bank to bank, putting a stirrup on the line, 
attaching ropes thereto on either side. A ' rig' was made to 
hold whatever had to be crossed, and the loaded rig was sus- 
pended from the stirrup and drawn over the stream. A 
third was by making a kind of sack of rawhide, in which the 
baggage was deposited, and pulled across by means of a 
rope ; a log or two to which it was lashed would keep it from 
sinking. 

"Rangers swam by the side of their horses, and guided 
them. No kind of weather precluded them from crossing 
rivers. They did so during 'northers,' and while snow and 
sleet were falling. The one idea ruled — make a rapid, 
noiseless march — strike the foe while he was not on the alert 
— punish him — crush him ! With many there was a venge- 
ful spirit to urge them on. Mothers, sisters, fathers, broth- 
ers, had been inhumanly butchered and scalped. Loved rel- 
atives had been captured, enslaved and outraged, and the 
memory of the cruel past rose up before the mind's eye, and 
goaded them into action. They fearlessly plunged into the 
thickest -of the fight, and struck for vengeance. Braver men 
never pulled a trigger or wielded a blade! " 

The Ranger has passed away, and in our country will 
exist no more, for the necessity which called him into exist- 
ence, as the representative of a class, has also been done 
away with : there are no more frontier settlements in Texas 
for him to protect — no more ruthless Comanches for him to 



86 THE LIFE AND SERVICES 

hunt down and punish. With the triumph of civilization his 
mission ended. He did his work, and did it well, and in the 
exploits of Ben McCulloch, Jack Hayes, John S. Ford, L. S. 
Ross, and many more no less worthy the unfading laurel of 
fame, Texas has a wealth of glory of inestimable value. We 
should commemorate their rugged virtues and the story of 
their heroic deeds upon the pages of history, to extort the 
admiration of posterity, and excite in the bosoms of Texian 
youth a spirit of generous emulation, as long as Texas 
remains a distinctive feature on the map of the world, and 
Texians feel a pride in the glorious annals of their incom- 
parable commonwealth ! 



chapter v, 



On the thirtieth of August McCulloch received secret 
order to march, and soon the Rangers were in the saddle 
once more and following their chief. The object of the pres- 
ent expedition was to ascertain the condition of the " China 
road," with a view to its practicability for the passage of 
artillery and wagon trains, and also to capture, if possible, 
the redoubtable Colonel Segiiin, who was stationed at the 
town of China with one hundred and forty men. 

The march was continued the next day without incident, 
and at 5 p. m. of the thirty-first, the company was halted on 
the roadside for the horses to graze a space and their men to 
rest. As the Rangers were thus employed, their chief sat a 
little distance apart, intently poring over a map of the 
country, and as he traced the lines there laid down, was 
evidently intent upon some scheme which he was carefully 
revolving and balancing in his sound judgment. 



OF GEN. BEN McCULLOCH. 87 

"Notwithstanding the familiarity of the men with our 
commander, for they generally addressed him by the simple 
name 'Ben,' yet on such occasions as this, no one ever ven- 
tured to approach him. Rising from the ground and slowly 
folding up the map, which he placed in his hat, for the most 
of us were in our shirt sleeves, he approached his horse, and 
patting him on the neck as he placed the bridle-bit into his 
mouth, he gave the order, 'Saddle up, boys!' There was 
no cavalry corps in the world that could bridle and saddle 
their horses in less time than the Texian Rangers, and very 
soon the men were in the saddle. 

"Our road lay through a beautiful country, and the air 
became cool by the departure of the fiery rays of the sun. 
Far in the distance could be seen the dim outlines of the 
bluish mountains like some fleecy cloud. The sun was set- 
ting with unusual grandeur behind the distant mountains, 
which seemed to rest upon the western horizon, gilding the 
encircling view with all the magnificence and splendor of its 
golden rays. Just then we were attracted by a most extraor- 
dinary vision in the heavens, and so perfect was its every 
outline as to fix general attention. The scene presented a 
battlement in the clouds, over which there was a large arch, 
and beneath was a soldier with his musket, at a charge, 
standing on the draw-bridge. The picture was as perfect as 
if drawn by the pencil of an artist, and caused among the 
superstitious many ominous forebodings of what was to 
come. As the last lingering roseate hue faded from the sky 
McCulloch ordered the men into single file, and to observe 
complete silence, and for those in charge of the pack-mules 
to fall back to the rear. 

"Our movements thus far had been conducted with the 
greatest caution and secrecy, and a fight was now thought to 
be certain. The merry joke and wild laugh of our compan- 
ions were no longer heard, and faces which before seemed 
without care, became grave and thoughtful. Not a murmur 
was heard throughout the long rank of single file of fifty-six 
men. It was a most lovely night ; the silver goddess of the 
heavens was smiling sweetly in all her transcendant beauty ; 
the bright arms glistened in the moonlight, and the costume 
of our men was as wild as the appearance was ferocious. At 



83 THE LIFE AND SERVICES 

ii p. m. we passed a large ranch, some two miles long, called 
Rancho El Toro, in the midst of which, a little off from the 
road, there stood an unroofed chapel, in the shape of an 
immense arm-chair, with a high oval arch for its back, while 
the walls on each side represented the arms. A seat was- 
placed in the rear for the priest, which was approached by a 
flight of steps, and around the walls forming the arms, were 
little shelves, on which stood sundry ornaments, the front of 
the church, if it may be called one, being entirely open. 
Behind the arch stood a scaffold, on which was erected two 
or three small bells. As well as could be seen by moon- 
light, the chapel appeared to have been lately occupied. As 
we passed the rancho, all was still as death, and not a soul 
could be seen, except an occasional head or two peeping 
forth for a moment from some half-closed window. 

" Turning round the base of a high hill, we shortly after 
descended a deep ravine, and crossing a boggy stream, per- 
mitted our horses to drink when we gained the opposite 
bank. Thus we proceeded in silence until midnight, when r 
being but a quarter of a mile from China, a halt was called, 
and a detachment of twenty men, commanded by Lieutenant 
Allen, was directed by McCulloch to proceed with the pack- 
mules, off some fifty yards to the right of the road, and sta- 
tion a guard with instructions to halt all persons going 
toward the town, allowing those traveling in an opposite 
direction to pass on, and at day-break to ride into the town 
and there join the main body, when it was thought the attack 
would be made. McCulloch, with the main force, then con 
tinued the march, making a circuit to the left, in order to 
gain the rear of the town without discovering his presence to 
the inhabitants. 

"Lieutenant Allen's party had hardly dismounted in the 
chaparral bushes and tied the mules, before a prisoner was 
made. He stated that he was a citizen of the place, and was 
in quest of some strayed horses. While interrogating the 
prisoner, and before the guard was posted, one of the men, 
hearing the clang of sabers, ran toward the roadside, and see- 
ing two Mexican soldiers, commanded them to halt, which 
refusing to do and putting spurs to their horses to escape, 
they were fired upon and one wounded. The report of the 



OF GEN. BEN McCULLOCH. 89 

gun created quite a sensation among us, as we were not 
aware at the time whence it came, and during the flurry the 
prisoner made good his escape. The guard was then posted, 
and Lieutenant Allen called for a volunteer to communicate 
to Captain McCulloch the cause of the report of the gun. 
Arch. Gipson, volunteering, at once set out on the hazardous 
mission. Two more Mexicans were soon after intercepted, 
from whom Lieutenant Allen learned that the main body of 
Colonel Seguin's men had left China about 9 o'clock that 
night, an express having been received from spies at Camargo 
warning them of McCulloch's departure, etc." — Reid's 
McCulloch and his Rangers, etc. 

McCulloch had reached the Monterey road and was mak- 
ing his dispositions for the attack, when his purpose was 
arrested by the report of the gun. He at once dispatched a 
courier to ascertain the cause of the shot, concluding to defer 
the attack until morning. The men remained under arms all 
night and entered the town in the morning only to find that 
the anticipated game had flown. Says Reid : — 

" As ' Captain Ben ' rode in, the rim of his hat was turned 
up — a way he had, when anything crossed him, that no famil- 
iarities would be tolerated. He merely ordered us to go back 
for the mules, and then follow him as fast as possible." 

But the pursuit was futile, as Seguin had too much the 
start, and after proceeding some six miles on the Monterey 
road, McCulloch led his company back to town. It was 
afterwards learned that Seguin did not anticipate the arrival 
of the Rangers until late the next day, and that it was his 
purpose to have remained in China all night, but the gun 
fired by Allen's party warned him of his danger. Had 
McCulloch pushed on to the ford of the river instead of halt- 
ing to ascertain the cause of the shot, he could easily have 
intercepted the retreat. Indeed, so hasty was the exodus of 
Seguin that he left a quantity of his camp equipage, as well 
as a number of his camp women at the scene of his deserted 
camp. 

The Rangers remained in China all night, and in the 
early morning commenced the return march, As a number 
of men were watering their horses at the river, several very 
pretty girls, with large jars, came for water, presenting a 



90 THE LIFE AND SERVICES 

picture not unlike those seen in old Bibles, portraying the 
Judean maids, jars in hand, standing at the well. A gallant 
young Ranger took the jar of one, and, after filling it, 
returned it to the fair owner, who thanking him for his kind- 
ness with a modest demeanor, took his hand and kissed it. 

As the Rangers stopped at the Paso Sacate, McMullen 
recognized among the citizens one Trinidad Aldrete, who 
had been a lieutenant at the battle of Mier, and who rendered 
himself conspicuous for his zeal after the surrender by taking 
a list of the prisoners for Ampudia, and in other ways. He 
having also recognized McMullen, became alarmed, and 
sought to propitiate favor by acts of kindness, not suffering 
the Texians to pay for anything they wished to purchase. 
The second day after leaving Sacate the route led through a 
barren country, destitute of water, and when that desideratum 
was found, the camp pitched, the horses staked out to graze, 
the guard posted, and the men were sitting around the cheer- 
ful fire, upon which simmered their favorite coffee, the course 
pursued during the day became the subject of conversation, 
in which ''Captain Ben" related the following anecdote: — 
"An old woodsman," said he, "seldom wants a compass 
so long as he can see the sun, and even when it is cloudy you 
can always tell where the sun is by a slight shadow from 
objects, be it ever so obscured. I recollect, that when a boy, 
I once accompanied my father and a stranger hunting. Cross- 
ing the river in a canoe, we hauled it out upon the bank to 
await our return, and struck out in the woods. Well, we did 
not meet with much luck, and after some hours tramping 
about, put back for the boat. It was a cloudy day, but the 
gentleman carried a pocket compass, and undertook with its 
assistance to pilot us back in a bee line. We followed the 
course indicated by the instrument as the proper one a suffi- 
cient distance, without reaching the river, and that we were 
lost was a fact beyond the possibility of a doubt. Father 
became tired of following the course indicated by the gentle- 
man's compass, and determined to be guided by it no longer. 

" 'Well, it is strange,' said the gentleman, 'but the com- 
pass can't be wrong! ' 

" ' D — n the compass ! ' said father, ' my boy Ben is worth 
all the compasses I ever saw,' and turning to me, he said: — 



OF GEN. BEN McCULLOCH. 91 

"'Ben, if you don't lead us straight to that boat, you 
shan't go on another hunt! ' 

" So I took a straight shoot, just by guessing the way the 
woods ran, and brought them to the boat, Sure enough ! 

"As we were stepping into the boat, the gentleman said 
with a laugh : — 

"'Well, Mr. McCulloch, Ben is a regular magnetic 
needle, and will make as great a geographer as his celebrated 
namesake.' " 

The remainder of the journey to Camargo was made with- 
out incident. McCulloch reported the route impracticable 
for the movement of artillery and wagon trains, by reason of 
the narrow passages and deep ravines. 

General Taylor, with the major portion of the army, had 
reached Camargo, and the volunteers were eager to hear the 
Rangers relate their recent adventures. 

The difficulties which McCulloch had to contend with is 
illustrated by the express from Camargo warning Seguin of 
his movements. Mexicans were all about, and it was almost 
impossible to distinguish a mocho from a greaser, and his 
only recourse was to trust none of them and rely solely upon 
his own shrewdness and sagacity, qualities which rarely failed 
him in an emergency. 

General Taylor now determined to have the route via 
Mier, as far as Serralvo, explored, and as the army was ready 
to commence the advance on Monterey, no time was to be 
lost; hence, on the twelfth of August a portion of McCul- 
loch's company, with that of Captain Gillespie, accompanied 
by Capt. James Duncan, of the Third Artillery, and Lieu- 
tenant Wood, of the engineer corps, with a body guard of 
four men and a guide, named Baker, were in the saddle and 
off for another scout, after a rest of only three days after 
returning from China, Captain McCulloch in command of 
the detachment. 

After pursuing the tedious march through the long, hot 
day, the detachment camped the first night on a beautiful 
little lake called El Guardado and the muchachos from a 
neighboring ranch entered the camp with tortillas, eggs and 
fruit for sale. 

"The Guardado," says Reid, "is about two miles long, 



92 THE LIFE AND SERVICES 

and a half mile wide, and very deep. Its limpid waters were 
too tempting to be resisted, and many of the boys bathed in 
its refreshing coolness. The opposite shore was lined with 
a deep verdure, while here and there might be seen a flower 
of the most gorgeous hues and sweetest fragrance, whose 
perfumes scented the balmy air, as the mellow rays of the 
setting sun cast a flood of golden light over the placid surface 
of the water." 

After partaking of a hearty supper, the march was resumed 
at 7 p. m. in a west southwest course, through a wild and rug- 
ged country. About 9 o'clock, as the command were cross- 
ing a deep ravine, the head of the column encountered at an 
abrupt turn in the road a Mexican horseman. 

"Buenos noches" said our guide to him. 

"Buenos noches" replied the Mexican, without stopping 
his horse. 

"Halt!" said the guide. 

"No time for stopping now," he replied, dashing on. 

" Stop him, boys, stop him! " cried McCulloch, and giv- 
ing chase, off he dashed in pursuit, followed by a number of 
the Rangers. 

After a desperate chase over rocks, gulches and through 
the chaparral, in the dark, the fellow was finally slain and 
his horse captured, which proved to be the property of one of 
the Americans, which had been stolen some time before, and 
it was subsequently learned that the Mexican was a notorious 
horse thief. 

Near Mier, Captain McCulloch was taken quite sick, and 
determined to go to the latter town, leaving the expedition in 
charge of Captain Duncan. The remainder of the night was 
spent here, without, however, unsaddling, and the march 
resumed at dawn. In the afternoon a horseman was met, 
who proved to be Jack Everett, son of Judge Everett, of Ala- 
bama, a young man who had been living in this country a 
number of years, and who was now employed in the Ameri- 
can quartermaster's department, and as interpreter, and who 
subsequently joined McCulloch's company. He informed us 
that he had left Punta Aguda that morning, and that a fan- 
dango was to be given that night to General Canales and 
Col. Christoval Ramirez. This information served to kin- 



OF GEN. BEN McCULLOCH. 93 

die the enthusiasm of the men, and the command pushed on 
to the point of the anticipated fandango. 

Punta Aguda was reached and surrounded without alarm- 
ing the gay revellers in the plaza ; indeed, the Texian cordon 
was drawn securely around these, and not till the guide had 
commanded in a stentorian tone, " Silencio 1 " did they 
dream that the feared Tejanos were anywhere about, when 
there were heard sounds other than those of revelry, uttered 
by the terrified scnoritas, whom the gallant Americans lost 
no time in reassuring. The distinguished guests were not 
present, and soon the dance was resumed. Says Reid : — 

" Corporal Bawk, one of Duncan's men, a tall good-look- 
ing fellow, jumped the enclosure, and was soon threading 
the mazes of the dance with a very pretty girl. This was too 
much for me, and as a waltz struck up, I approached a girl 
of pretty figure and features, who was hanging languishingly 
on the arm of a well-dressed Mexican. I bade them buenos 
tarde, and asked the man in my best Spanish for permission 
to dance with his fair partner. The young girl gave her con- 
sent, but he replied that he did not understand, at the same 
time shaking his forefinger significantly. I then asked him 
if he understood Spanish, at the time throwing a hand on my 
pistol. ' Si, cabellcro,'' he replied, relinquishing the fair one, 
who, taking my arm, we were soon whirling in the mazy 
dance. After the dance, refreshments were served, consist- 
ing of cakes, mescal and aguardiente." 

The march was resumed the same night for Serralvo, 
reaching that point on the fourteenth. Captain Duncan 
pushed his reccmnoissance as far as Agua Lejos, beyond Ser- 
ralvo, and being convinced of the entire practicability of an 
advance of the army over this route, returned to Camargo, 
and so reported to General Taylor. 

The army soon commenced the advance, the Rangers 
being employed as the advance guard and as scouts on either 
flank, the same being attended without incident worthy of 
special mention. On the twelfth of September the march 
was resumed, and it was expected that the enemy would be 
encountered in force at the town of Marin. The advance 
was composed of McCulloch's Rangers, he having suffi- 



94 THE LIFE AND SEE VICES 

ciently recovered to rejoin the command, and a squadron of 
dragoons, under Capt. Pike Graham. 

On the thirteenth the advance continued, McCulloch, with 
fifteen men, leading some distance ahead. After proceeding 
about four miles, the Mexican cavalry were descried, posted 
at the base of a hill, who soon retreated to the summit of the 
elevation, and amused themselves by prancing about on their 
horses, and by waving their sabres defiantly at los A?neri~ 
canos. The challenge was promptly accepted by McCul- 
loch, who spurred on to the encounter, but the Mexicans 
deeming discretion the better part of valor, did not keep the 
appointment. A courier was dispatched to General Taylor, 
announcing the presence of the enemy, and the Texians 
encamped at a ranch near by. 

On the fourteenth, McCulloch ordered his men into the 
saddle, and proceeded in the direction of Ramos, a village 
some eight miles distant, and in a westerly course. One 
mile from the camp, the pack-mules were left in charge of a 
guard of five men, and the march was continued. After pro- 
ceeding three miles, fresh tracks made by the Mexican cav- 
alry were discovered. Here McCulloch divided his force ; 
taking fifteen men himself, he continued the advance, leav- 
ing the main force in charge of Lieutenant Kelly, with 
instructions to follow on after the expiration of a certain time 
and take up position at a designated point, and await further 
instructions. McCulloch discovered the enemy after pro- 
ceeding about a mile, and a number of shots were exchanged 
at long range, when McCulloch waving his sword as if beck- 
oning to a force in the rear, galloped after them and drove 
the Mexicans from their position to a hill further in their 
rear. In the meantime, Lieutenant Kelly had come up, and 
his men were ordered to deploy round a hill to the right, so 
as to conceal their movements from the enemy, and strike 
the road again further on, and there wait for a signal from 
McCulloch, who, with his original party, proceeded on the 
road, and drove the Mexican videttes back upon the reserve 
force. While reconnoitering here, McCulloch discovered 
some twenty Mexicans lying in ambush in the bottom below ; 
at the same time young Thomas, of Baltimore, was in hot 
pursuit of a Mexican officer, and rushing blindly into point 



OF GEN BEN McCULLOCH. 95 

blank range of the ambuscade, and but for the instantaneous 
decision of McCulloch, would have been killed. The latter, 
with that coolness and presence of mind, of which he had 
perfect command at all times, again employed pantomime to 
effect his rescue. Waving his sword for an imaginary party 
to hurry up, he joined Thomas in the charge. Seeing all 
this, and being flurried by the threatened attack, the Mexi- 
cans fired wildly, and precipitately abandoned their position, 
all of which transpired in less time than it takes to tell of the 
same. McCulloch then dispatched a courier to bring up the 
remainder of the men, and as soon as they came up, he led 
them against the Mexicans in fine style, and drove them in 
confusion before him. 

The command pushed on to within a quarter of a mile of 
Ramos, when the Mexicans were discovered, posted about 
one hundred yards in advance, and received the Rangers 
with a heavy fire from their escopetas, which was returned 
with spirit by the Texians, killing one and wounding two of 
the enemy. The Mexicans staggered under the fire and re- 
treated into the town in great confusion. " A shout of tri- 
umph from the Texians rose wildly on the air, and, filled 
with enthusiam, and an impetuosity which was impossible to 
restrain, they rushed on, pursuing the enemy into the very 
town, and through it to a hill some distance beyond." Mc- 
Culloch having obtained a good view of the position occu- 
pied by the Mexicans, found that he was in the presence of a 
large party, vastly exceeding his own in numbers, retired to 
a mountain pas? in the rear, in order to guard against being 
cut off, as the enemy was making demonstrations looking to 
that end. Thus, with but forty men, McCulloch had driven 
before him at least two hundred of Torrejon's cavalry — the 
elite of the Mexican army. It was now discovered that Gen- 
eral Taylor had come up ; and interrogating a prisoner taken 
by the Texians, he learned that at Marin, nine miles from 
Ramos, Torrejon was posted with 1,500 cavalry. McCul- 
loch encamped for the night as the picket guard of the army, 
on the Ramos road ; and the next morning resumed the march 
at sunrise. 

The town was nearly deserted. A Mexican soldier, 
wounded in the action of the preceding day, was found \\\ 



06 THE LIFE AND SERVICES 

one of the houses, being nursed by an old woman and a young 
girl. Some of the Texians, feeling sorry for the poor fellow, 
gave him some money as they took his hand to bid him adios. 
The women, at this manifestation of sympathy, took the 
hands of the Texians and bathed them with tears of grati- 
tude. The road to Marin passed over a beautiful rolling 
country hemmed in by the distant mountains ; and nearer the 
t >w-n " the scenery which presented itself was magnificent in 
the extreme. On our right rose the tall peaks of the Sierra 
Alvo, three thousand feet high, while before us was the 
towering, majestic Sierra Madre, seeming to pierce the very 
heavens, and forming fantastic shapes of battlements, lean- 
ing towers, steeples and obelisks. Again, on our left was 
still another mountain chain, — the whole forming a semi-cir- 
cle and presenting a scene of grandeur and surpassing beauty 
which filled the spectator with awe and involuntary admira- 
tion." 

McCulloch arrived in sight of Marin at 10 a. m., and 
" On reaching the hill overlooking the town," says Kendall, 
"eight hundred or a thousand yards distant, we came in 
plain sight of a large body of the enemy's cavalry, ranged in 
the principal street and evidently much flurried by our pres- 
ence. They were armed with escopetas and lances, and 
among the uniforms were many of bright scarlet. With a 
force entirely too small to approach nearer — having only 
twenty-five men with him — McCulloch ordered a halt. The 
plaza was concealed from sight by the church and adjoining 
buildings, rendering it impossible to tell whether there were 
any artillery and infantry in the town or not. The place of- 
fered every opportunity for concealing an enemy of thous- 
ands ; and as our commander was not so particularly certain 
that the Mexicans might not send an eighteen-pound shot, or 
some missile of the kind, up our way on a flying visit, we 
were ordered to scatter a little along the brow of the hill. 
Scouts, in the mean time, were sent out to prevent a party 
from getting in our rear, as the advance of General Taylor 
was still several miles off. 

" For an hour we sat watching the hurried movements of 
the cavalry in the town, unable to make out their intentions. 



OF GEN BEN McULLOCH. 97 

Horsemen were plainly seen dashing and cavorting about, 
while men on foot were jumping to get out of their way. 
Several greasers — Mexicans of the lower order — were taken 
in the chaparral close by us, or voluntarily came up, who 
stated that the party below was commanded by Torrejon, 
who had driven them out of the town, and threatened to de- 
stroy their houses by fire before los Americanos should gain 
possession. They pointed out their jacales and casas to us 
and implored our assistance in saving them! 

"In about an hour the cavalry began to move off in or- 
der, taking the road toward Monterey, now indistinctly seen 
lying at the foot of a large mountain, ten or eleven leagues 
off. Their rear had not yet left the place before McCulloch, 
accompanied only by Colonel Peyton, was dogging after 
them, intent on watching their movements. In half an hour 
our captain appeared near the main street, and beckoned us 
down, and in five minutes more we were all down in the 
plaza. Nearly every house was closed, and the few men we 
met — for the women had all been taken off — greeted us as 
amigos, or friends, with their hats in hand. One old 
fellow living in a large house next door to the church, said 
he had been beaten, after we appeared in the night, by some 
of Torrejon's officers, to induce him to leave, but, regardless 
of blows, he had determined to stick to his premises and 
property. All the inhabitants had been shamefully abused, 
their property taken from them, and many driven into the 
chapparral ; and we were told that in an hour's time more, 
had our company not appeared in sight, they would have set 
fire to the place. The Mexicans all along the route insisted 
that we would meet stout resistance here. But not so." 

About noon General Taylor came up, followed by the 
first division, and soon the town was filled with Americans. 

"On entering a house," says Reid, "on the corner of 
the plaza we found an old lady who seemed perfectly de- 
lighted at the arrival of our troops, and, to our surprise, we 
saw a table set out, which, from its looks, had been spread 
with a fine dinner; and so it turned out ; for the old lady in- 
formed us that she had been ordered to prepare dinner for 



98 THE LIFE AND SER VICES 

some Mexican officers, and that on our appearance they took 
what they could from the table and left, being in too great a 
hurry to stay and finish their meal. 

" She appeared well pleased at their discomfiture, and 
poured forth a volume of vituperation against them gener- 
ally, and General Torrejon especially. ' They carri ed off 
everything they could,' said she, ' and did not pay me a cent.' 
She then brought in the balance of the dinner, consisting of 
roast beef, tortillas, pepper sauce, onions and frijoles, or 
red beans. We sat down to the table with several officers T 
and enjoyed a sumptuous repast, for which we amply paid 
the old lady. " 

That night the Rangers encamped in town, exempt from 
the l eternal vigilance ' which had been required of them so 
long, and enjoyed a good sleep, unbroken by the fear of a 
night attack. The next morning — 16th, the Rangers moved 
out to the San Juan, and camped near the First Division. 
We give Mr. Kendall's account of an episode which occurred 
on McCulloch's entry into Marin: 

"We had a funny scene in our company this afternoon. 
Two or three of the men while out on picket duty, found a 
mule load of baggage belonging to a Mexican officer. The 
animal had probably stampeded the day before, and Torre- 
jon's men were in too great a hurry to hunt up run away 
mules. The letters found among the same, discovered the owner 
to have been Don Ignacio something, or other, captain of the 
third company of Guanajuato cavalry, and set forth that Don 
Ignacio was a man of some consequence. He had a scarlet 
coat of the finest broadcloth, covered with pure silver but- 
tons, ornamented with rich silver embroidery, and upon the 
breast of which was an order. His cap was of blue velvet, 
richly ornamented with a silver band, and tassels, while his 
pantaloons, of blue broadcloth foxed with morocco, had a 
wide stripe of red down the outer seam. Among the bag- 
gage was also a mattress, several pillows, the cases of which 
were elaborately worked, as well as the other fine bed furni- 
ture ; and in addition to all this, there was some half a dozen 
red, green, and figured petticoats, a dozen pair of beautfiul 
little pink, blue, and white satin slippers, to say nothing of a 
dozen neatly wrought linen camisas — all, the ward-robe o 



OF GEN BEN McCULOCH. 90 

some pretty Poblana girl, who had doubtless followed Don 
Ignacio to the wars." 

It was ascertained from scouts, sent out by McCulloch, 
that Torrejon was camped at Pescaria Chica, a village to the 
southward, and on the left of the main route to Monterey, 
and General, Taylor apprehending that it was his purpose to 
gain his rear, dispatched Colonel May, with a squadron .of 
dragoons, and the companies of McCulloch and Gillespie, to 
check the threatened movement. The route lay down the 
right bank of the San Juan. An old Mexican, met on the 
road, was forced to guide the party ; and after passing "fresh 
signs," entered the little hamlet at 8 o'clock. Information 
was here obtained to the effect that Torrejon had retired to 
the mountains. Here the old guide was exchanged for an- 
other, who was a foot, and who had but one shoe. 

" The poor fellow walked on with great alacrity, notwith- 
standing he was so illy shod, and led the command up the 
Agua Frio river, toward the Monterey road." 

At the Rancho Agua Frio it was learned that Torrejon 
had passed the previous night, with 500 cavalry ; and the 
command struck across to San Francisco, up to which point 
the army had moved. 



CHAPTER VII. 

General Henderson, governor of Texas, arrived at thi s 
time with the regiments of Colonels Hayes and Woods. All 
felt certain that the enemy would 'not relinquish Monterey 
without a struggle, and the advance was resumed on the 
morning of the 19th of September, the troops being in high 
spirits, and eager for the fray. McCulloch and Gillespie led 
the advance, immediately followed by Hayes' regiment, to 
which both belonged, although this was the first time they 
had been with it. With General Henderson were such dis- 
tinguished Texians as Ex-President M. B. Lamar, Gen. 
Wm. L. Cazneau, Gen. Hugh McLeod, and very many who 
have since become distinguished. It would tax too much 
our limited space to attempt anything like a description of 
the operations which resulted in the victory of Monterey ; 



100 THE LIFE AND SERVICES 

and will confine the narrative to the movements of the sub- 
ject proper of this work— touching only in an incidental 
manner those movements immediately connected with those 
©f the Rangers, and necessary to explain the same. 

The road led through a cultivated country, being lined 
on either side by fields and the jacales of the peons, with 
now and then the more pretentious residences of the propri- 
etor ; and when in three miles of the city, a beautiful grove 
of walnut trees was passed on the left of the road. A heavy 
fog rested upon the face of the country, and the surrounding 
heights, and concealed everything from view, until gradually 
dissipated by the rays of the sun, when the magnificent 
scene burst upon the view, and called forth exclamations of 
admiration from all. 

At 8 a. m. the column arrived within 1,500 yards of the 
city, where a halt was ordered. Before them lay the lovely 
valley, a veritable terrestrial paradise, while nestling like a 
gem in emerald surroundings, between the Saddle Mountain 
and the Sierra Madre, was the opulent capital of the state of 
Nueva Leon, tne towering steeple of the cathedral like a 
giant obelisk, seeming to pierce the very sky. 

"Off to the right was* the citadel, from whose battle- 
ments a flag flaunted in the breeze. To the left could be 
seen the avenues leading into the city, which were fortified 
by earthworks bristling with artillery. Still further to the 
right, in the rear of the city, stood, on a high hill overlook- 
ing the whole, the Bishop's Palace displaying from its tur- 
rets the black cross of the holy church, and the green, white 
and red banner of Mexico ; while the tops of the adjacent 
heights were crowned by snow-white tents. Beautiful green 
fields met the eye on every side, and cattle were quietly 
grazing about. Not a soul was to be seen, and the moun- 
tains, the vale and the city seemed alike undisturbed, and 
wrapped in the calm repose of nature." 

Soon, however, a blast from the Mexican trumpets came 
blareing over the plain, and the cavalry was formed just 
without the town in magnificently stern array ; and with 
lances reflecting ihe morning sunlight, and pennons of red 
and green coquetting with the breeze, slowly, and steadily 
advanced. Hayes' regiment was formed in sections of rives, 



OF G&N. BEN McCULLOCH. J01 

and the bugles sounded the advance. The Texians advanced 
at a brisk trot until within a proper distance to charge, when 
the enemy abruptly wheeled about and retired into the city. 
The regiment was opened upon by the guns from the citadel, 
firing twelve-pound shot, to which the men returned a shout 
of defiance, which rang wildly over the plain. The Mexi- 
cans had employed the foregoing display as a ruse to entice 
the Americans within range of their guns ; but Hayes was 
too old a bird to be caught with such chaff. The regiment 
was countermarched to its former position, having sustained 
-no injury. A spy was here captured, one Jeronimo, whom 
McCulloch had 'taken in' two or three times previously, 
and who always managed to escape the penalty always ac- 
corded to spies — death. 

The next day General Worth's division was dispatched 
by a circuitous march around the hill of the Bishop's Palace 
in order to carry the heights, and detached works in the rea 1 
of the city ; and with this column the regiment of Colonel 
Hayes was directed to co-operate. We reproduce from the 
pages of Mr. Reid the account of the operations in this quar- 
ter which follow : — 

"About noon our regiment was ordered to move, and we 
took up the line of march toward the plaza, when we struck 
off to the right, through some fields. A company of pioneers 
was sent in advance to cut a passage through the chaparral, 
so as to make the road practicable for artillery. Our pro- 
gress was very slow, as we had many difficulties to overcome. 
By the time we reached the Monclovaroad, it was discovered 
that the enemy had perceived our movements, and large 
bodies of infantry could be seen advancing at a run from the 
Bishop's Palace toward the height above it. General Tay- 
lor, however, made proper dispositions in front to divert 
their attention from the operations of Worth's column, to a 
degree; and in the mean time General Burleson, of Texas, 
with twenty men, proceeded along the base of the hill, while 
Colonel Hays, Lieutentant-Colonels Duncan ahd Walker, 
with Captain McCulloch and Colonel Peyton, ascended the 
hill to reconnoitre. While these officers were riding along 
the brow of the hill, General Worth came along, and also 
ascended the hill ; when General Burleson reported that he 



102 THE LIFE AND SERVICES 

had met the enemy's pickets, and that a large force consisting 
of cavalry and infantry were advancing from the hill beyond, 
with the evident intention of disputing our further progress. 
Our position at once became very critical. General Worth 
ordered a detachment of McCulloch's company, in charge of 
Kelly, to join Gillespie's company, the whole supported by 
the rest of the Texians, and a body of infantry, for the pur- 
pose of examining more closely the defences of Loma Inde- 
pendencia. * * * We were now immediately opposite, and in 
point blank range of the battery on the hill, when the enemy 
— in ambush — saluted us with a volley from their muskets 
and escopetas, the guns from the battery at the same time 
opening on us with shot and shell. Many of our horses, 
alarmed at the bursting of the shells, became unmanageable, 
and started off with their riders at break neck speed." 

Mr. Samuel C. Reid, author of the graphic descriptions 
upon which we have so largely drawn heretofore, was 
knocked out of the saddle, and hung with one foot in the stir- 
rup, clinging to the mane of his horse with the right hand, — 
the horse running for nearly a hundred yards before he suc- 
ceeded in regaining his seat. Another of the Rangers was 
unhorsed, and though the Mexican lancers were charging 
them, the heroic Lieutenant McMullen, seeing his danger, 
nobly went to the rescue, and checking his horse, wheeled, 
and without dismounting, seized his comrade, and as quick 
as lightning, threw him on his horse, in the face and almost 
in the very grasp of the enemy, and bore him safelv away ! 
The Texian reserve opened fire upon the enemy in a spirited 
manner, and covered the retreat of the reconnoitering party. 
Anticipating a sortie, Colonel Hayes had dismounted the 
companies of Acklen and Ballowe, and formed them in line 
of battle under cover of the chaparral fence, which disposi- 
tion succeeded in repulsing the Mexican charge which fol- 
lowed. This skirmish took place between sundown and 
dark, and immediately a heavy shower of rain put an end to 
all immediate proceedings. The men remained under arms 
some time, the rain falling in torrents, and drenching us to- 
the skin. Learning that the Mexicans had retreated to the 
Saltillo road, the pickets were posted, and the command or- 
dered to look to their horses. In a deserted jacal was found 



OF GEN BEN McCULLOCH. 103 

a quantity of corn, belonging to the Mexican government, 
which was seized and plentifully fed to the horses. As we 
were within range of the guns on Independence Hill, it was 
forbidden us to light fires. Cold, cheerless and hungry, the 
men lay, sleeping on their arms. As day dawned, and we 
cast our eyes in the direction of Independence Hill, we half 
doubted that only the evening before we had heard from its 
summit the booming of hostile guns. Without breakfast, 
the Texians were ordered to mount ; and, all wet. as we were, 
mounted into the saddle and moved out, McCulloch's com- 
pany taking the advance, followed by the whole regiment of 
Rangers, while the remainder of the division came up in 
close order of battle. 

We had proceeded about one mile and a half, when at a 
turn in the road, near a hacienda, called San Jeronimo, we 
came in full view of the enemy's forces, cavalry and in- 
fantry, to the number of 1,500 men, drawn up in battle 
array. The Saltillo road and the cornfields adjacent seemed 
filled with infantry. Here the regiment was ordered to de- 
ploy by company to the right, and dismount. The Texians 
were supported by the light companies of the First Brigade, 
under Captains C. F. Smith and J. B. Scott, with Duncan's 
light artillery. 

Thus drawn up in order of battle, the two forces stood 
eyeing each other, at the distance of two hundred yards ; 
when the Mexicans commenced to advance slowly, at the 
same time opening fire with their 'scopets, and the battery 
on the hill. The Rangers were now ordered to mount, and 
advance upon the enemy, and take position by a fence on 
the road-side. Here, again, they were dismounted, and 
were allowed to reply to the fire of the enemy. McCulloch, 
on the extreme right did not receive the order to dismount in 
time, and seeing the lancers preparing for a charge, gallantly 
led his men to meet them. On came the Mexicans at a full 
gallop, led by their brave Lieutenant-Colonel Juan N. Na- 
jera, in dashing style, their pennons of green and red float- 
ing in the wind. McCulloch received them with a leaden 
hail from the rifles and pistols, while the regiment from the 
fence, poured in upon them a deadly fire. 



104 THE LIFE AND SERVICES 

The clash was great, and the shock terrible ; the ho^f 
moved to and fro, as the forest bends beneath the storm ; but 
our horses were too powerful to be overcome, many saddles 
in which had sat the bravest of the dashing lancers were 
emptied. We saw Colonel Najera fall in the thickest of the 
fight, bearing himself bravely, and exhorting his men to rally 
and stand firm. He was a tall, splendid looking fellow, 
with a fierce moustache and beautiful teeth, which were set 
hard as he lay on the ground, with his face partly turned up, 
his eyes yet glassy in the struggle of death, and his features 
depicting the most marked determination. 

McCulloch's men were now engaged hand to hand with 
the enemy's lancers, using their five-shooters, while some 
beat the Mexicans back with their swords. Duncan's guns 
now opened their fire, and the enemy was borne back with 
great slaughter, carrying with them a portion of McCulloch's 
men, who had fought their way nearly to the enemy's centre, 
and discovering their peril, were now fighting their way out 
again. 

Then it was that the hardest struggle took plaee. Arm- 
strong, one of McCulloch's men, was unhorsed by a lancer, 
having received two wounds ; yet, on foot, with sword in 
hand, he defended himself against two of the enemy, killing 
one, when an Irishman from the artillery batallion, dis- 
covered his situation, and saying that he did not know 
whether his gun was loaded with buck or ball, as he drew up 
his musket, but that he had as well kill both as miss the 
Mexican, fired and saved the Ranger ! 

Young Musson, of New Orleans, a member of McCul- 
loch's company, was engaged at the same time with a cap- 
tain of cavalry, hand to hand, with sabers, and at one time 
was nearly overpowered ; and when asked why he did not 
then shoot his foe, replied with the sentiment of true chiv- 
alry : — 

"The Mexican had no pistol, and it would have been 
taking an advantage over him !" 

As another of our men was being overcome Dy a Mex- 
can, the gallant Captain Cheshire, a private of the Rangers, 
dashed up to his rescue, and his pistols being empty, felled 
lie Mexican to the ground with the butt of his holster pis- 



OF GEN BEN McCULLOCH. 105 

tol. Fielding Alston and J. F. Minter,- received severe 
lance wounds. 

McCulloch had twice been borne back by the Mexicans, 
and making a desperate struggle to regain his company, he 
put his horse to his speed, running everything down in his 
way, and came out without a scratch ! As the Mexicans 
gave way, the light companies rushed up the hill, and fired 
over the ridge at the retreating enemy, who were routed, and 
flying in every direction. * * * * This most brilliant action 
lasted some fifteen minutes, in which brief space 150 Mex- 
icans were killed and wounded ; while on our side the loss 
was trifling. 

The squadron which had so bravely engaged McCulloch 
was almost entirely cut to pieces. Colonel Hayes advanced 
his regiment some three hundred yards, the guns from Loma 
Federation firing upon them. It was determined to silence 
these annoying guns by capture; and to this end Capt. C. 
F. Smith, of the second artillery, was ordered to proceed 
with his own and three other companies of the artillery bat- 
allion, and six companies of the Texas Rangers, — dismounted 
— under their brave major, Mike Chevalier, and commanded 
by Captains Gillespie, Ballowe, McCulloch., Chandler, 
Green, and McGowan. 

"It was now about 12 m. and the meridian sun poured 
down its hottest rays. Before us stood the steep and rugged 
hill, about three hundred and eighty feet high, whose slopes 
were covered with dense and thorny chaparral. With a 
glass could be seen the swarm of Mexicans which crowded 
the heights, while its cannon, which looked down in defiance 
at us, seemed to threaten with annihilation all who dared to 
approach. * * *" 

General Worth rode up as the command moved off, an d 
pointing to the height, said : — 

'-'-Men you are to take that hill — and 1 know you will do 
it!" 

With one response they replied : — 

" We willl" 

* * * On we hurried in double quick time, brustling 
through the rows of cane and corn, toward the river's bank. 



106 THE LIFE AND SER VICES 

The batteries opened upon us a fierce, plunging fire, envel- 
oping the crown of the hill in smoke, through which could 
be seen the blazing cannon, which seemed to vie with the 
sun's red glare. * * * The men passed quickly by the rapid 
stream, the shot from the enemy's guns falling thick around, 
and clambered up the rocky steep, and, Regulars and Rang- 
ers side by side, carried the heights. The cannon was im- 
mediately turned on the retreating Mexicans, the guns being 
served by a detachment under Lieut. Edward Deas. 

Fort Soldado, about a quarter of a mile distant, was next 
to be carried ; but ere formal dispositions could be made by 
General Smith, the impetuous Chevalier, and his Texians, 
pursuing the Mexicans, rushed into the work, and either cap- 
tured, or stampeded the garrison. The brave Capt. R. A.. 
Gillespie, of the Rangers, was the first to gain, and monnt 
the enemy's works. Then followed the fifth infantry, with 
Sergeant Updegrass, who bore the colors of that regiment 
into the fort, at the very heels of the enemy. Lieut. Thomas 
G. Pitcher, of the fifth infantry, was one of the gallant spir- 
its in the fort, and turning to some Texians, as they ap- 
proached a nine-pounder, said, "Well, boys, we came near 
beating you," and with a piece of chalk he wrote on the 
gun : — " Texas Rangers and $th infantry I " 

The guns of Fort Soldado were at once turned against 
the Bishop's Palace, situated on the southern slope of Inde- 
pendence Hill, a valley of 600 yards only intervening. 

Of McCulloch's company, John P. Waters, C. E. De 
Witt, Oliver Jenkins and Thomas Law, were wounded. 
The cannonading ceased only with the night, when the 
Rangers returned to care for their horses, having to walk 
three hundred yards to a field to procure corn, when they fi- 
nally camped near the scene of the morning conflicts and 
nought shelter from the rain, which began to fall, in some 
deserted jacales near by. 

"In one of these," says Reid, "lived a Mexican with his 
wife and two children. We had sought shelter under the 
eaves of the house, when the woman invited us in doors, at 
the same time offering to share with us the frugal supper 
which had been prepared for he~ little family. The invita- 
tion was readily accepted, and although it was but a mouth- 



OF GEN BEN McCULLOCH. 107 

ful of meat and bread that was offered, yet it was received 
with the warmest gratitude, and most sincere thanks. 

" The Mexican woman gazed with feelings of emotion at the 
men as they swallowed the morsel, and then, in one of the most 
sweet and silvery tones we ever listened to — such as a woman 
only can utter — expressed sorrow that she had no more to 
give. She was about twenty years of age, a little above the 
medium height, with a slender form, yet beautifully rounded, 
which her low, short-sleeved dress set off very prettily, and 
was the most intelligent woman that we had yet met with in 
Mexico. Her features were Grecian, with clear olive complex- 
ion and transparent skin, through which mantled the crimson 
blood, giving her cheeks a rich and beautiful color. She 
had soft, lustrous black eyes, which danced with animation 
when she spoke, lighting up her beautiful face, while her 
glossy black hair fell in ringlets down her neck ; and when 
she. smiled, displayed a set of teeth unrivalled for whiteness 
and beauty. Her voice, too, as we have said, soft and lisp- 
ing, made the language she spoke more captivating than we 
had ever heard it. There was a douceur of manner about 
her which gained the esteem of all the Texians ; and whether 
it was her generosity made us think her an angel or not, 
one thing is certain, we shall never forget her kindness. " 

Two victories had crowned the American arms, and Ben 
McCulloch and the Texas Rangers won undying fame, but 
all felt that the morning would usher in a far more serious 
drama, for the fort on Loma Independenciaand the Bishop's 
Palace commanded the main avenue to the city. We pass 
over many of the operations of the twenty-first, not for want 
of interest, as the movements comprised some of the most 
important and gallant episodes connected with the efforts of 
the Americans to reduce the place, but because McCulloch, 
whose history we are writing, and not that of the "Siege of 
Monterey," was not particularly conspicuous; not that he 
was by any means idle, for he was always to be found at the 
post of duty. 

At three o'clock on the morning of September 22d, the 
troops which had been detailed to storm Independence Hill 
were aroused. It was dark and cloudy, a heavy, damp mist 
brooding over the scene. The assaulting column was com- 



108 THE LIFE AND SERVICES 

posed of three companies of the artillery batallion, com- 
manded by Capt. J. R. Vinton; three companies of the 8th 
infantry, under Lieutenants James Longstreet, T. J. Mont- 
gomery and E. B. Holloway, Capt. R. B. Screven in com- 
mand ; and seven companies of the Rangers — Capt. R. A. 
Gillespie's, McCulloch's, Thomas Green's, C. B. Acklen's, 
Jas. Gillespie's, C. C. Herbert's and Ballowe's, under Col- 
onel Hayes and Lieutenant-Colonel Walker, — the whole 
commanded by Colonel Cnilds, of the Regulars The col- 
umn of assault numbered 465 in all: 

" Independence Hill, between seven and eight hundred 
feet high, is not only the most inaccessible height from its 
almost perpendicular ascent — covered as it is by ledges of 
rock some four or five feet high, and low, thick, thorny 
bushes, but also the most important, as commanding all the 
western approaches, and by a gradual descent from the crest 
of the hill of about 350 yards, southeast course, along the 
ridge leading to the Bishop's Palace, which it also com- 
mands and overlooks ; thus forming the key to the entrance 
to Monterey on the western side. The height was defended 
by a piece of artillery, and during the night a large rein- 
forcement had been thrown forward from the Bishop's Pal- 
ace. * * * At this moment the command ''forward!' was 
given, and the column conducted by Capt. John Sanders, mil- 
itary, and Lieut. George G.Meade, topographical engineers, 
with a Mexican guide, wound its way by a right flank along 
the dark and devious road, passing through a cornfield, until 
it arrived at the base of the hill, where the command was 
divided. Captain Vinton, with one company of the 3d 
Artillery and one of the 8th Infantry, and three of Rangers, 
under Lieutenant-Colonel Wal'ker, was detached, to move as a 
left column up the northwest slope of the hill, while Colonel 
Childs, with the residue of the command, would ascend from 
the southwest." 

The men found in the obstacles presented by nature more 
to contend with than in the troops placed to defend the 
place ; who, after a brief resistance, fled in confusion toward 
the Bishop's Palace. Here, fell the brave Captain R. A. Gil- 
lespie, as well as H. S. Thomas, of McCulloch's company- 
Dispositions were now made to carry the Palace by coup de 



OF GEN. BEN McCULLOCH. 109 

main, and pending which Gen. Don Francisco Berra at- 
tempted to retrieve the waning fortunes of his country's flag, 
by a desperate effort to drive the Americans from the hill, — 
which realized the hopes of Captain Vinton, and against 
which he had amply provided. 

"Batallions of infantry formed in front of the Palace, 
their crowded ranks and glistening bayonets presenting a 
bold and fearless front, while squadrons of light cavalry, 
with lances bright, and gay fluttering pennons and heavy 
cavalry, armed with escopetas, and broad swords gleaming in 
the sun, richly contrasting with the gaudy Mexican uniforms, 
made a most imposing sight. Their bugles sounded the 
charge, and on they came in proud array, prepared for des- 
perate strife. Nearer and nearer they approached, their lanc- 
ers dashing up the slope with fierce and savage air, until 
the clang of their arms rang wildly on the ear — then, when 
within twenty yards of our position, the appointed signal be- 
ing given, out rushed our gallant troops and formed a serried 
line of bayonets which suddenly rose before the enemy like 
an apparition, to oppose their progress. Most bravely were 
they met ; one volley from that long line, with a deadly fire 
from the Texians made them reel and stagger back, 
aghast, while above the battle cry was heard the hoarse com- 
mand to charge. On, on rushed our men, with shouts of 
triumph, driving the retreating enemy, horse and foot, who 
fled in confusion down the ridge, past the Palace, and even 
to the bottom of the hill, into the streets of the city. The 
victory was won — the Bishop's Palace was ours ! and long, 
long did the cheers of the victors swell on the air, and make 
the valley below ring with the triumph of our arms. A 
short struggle ensued with those inside the Palace, but being 
overpowered they soon surrendered. 

" Lieut. G. W. Ayres, of the 3d Artillerv, was the first to 
enter the Palace, and hauled down the enemy's flag, while 
Lieutenant-Colonel Walker, of the Texas Rangers, with one 
of McCulloch's men, cut down the blue and yellow signal 
flags from the cross in front of the works." 

Artillery was at once concentrated at the Palace, and a 
lively exchange of compliments through these mediums were 
exchanged by the opposing forces until night put a period to 



110 THE LIFE AND SERVICES 

operations. Operations had been as active on the eastern 
side of the city, in which the 2d Texas regiment, com- 
manded by Colonel Woods, bore conspicuous part. But 
the irregular street fighting which occurred after the capture 
of the Palace, was objectless on the part of the Mexicans, 
beyond the gratification of a vengeful spirit, and necessarily 
irregular on that of the Americans, who, of course, con- 
formed their operations to those of the enemy ; and we close 
our account of the engagement here, without reciting the par- 
ticulars of the capitulation, all of which are historical and 
known of all men. 

McCulloch's company was accounted a part of Hayes' 
regiment, of which Samuel H. Walker was lieutenant-col- 
onel and Mike Chevalier major; John S. Ford, since fa- 
mous as an Indian fighter and Ranger chief, was the adju- 
tant 

On the 30th September the two Texas regiments were 
mustered out of service and disbanded ; and as the opinion 
was current that the war was virtually over, the most of the 
men returned home, and among the number McCulloch. 
General Taylor, who had learned his worth, through the in- 
valuable services which he rendered as a scout from Matn- 
moras to Monterey, exacted of him the promise that he 
would return to his post of duty as soon as active operations 
should be resumed. He left Monterey immediately upon 
the disbandment of the regiment, with sixteen of his men for 
San Antonio, Texas. 

"Having crossed the Nueces, with some difficulty, about 
mid-day, the party were reclining upon the grass to rest 
themselves, when a couple of daring Comanches rushed in 
among the horses close by, and by their yells and accompa- 
nying antics, succeeded in stampeding the entire cavallado, 
with the exception of Major McCulloch's horse and that of 
the brave Captain Cheshire. These gentlemen mounted at 
once and put off in pursuit. On coming up with them, Mc- 
Culloch received a flight of arrows, one of which wounded 
his horse, and caused him to dismount. He and one of the 
Indians then commenced manoeuvering for the advantage. 
McCulloch could not bring his five-shooter to bear; and in 
the meantime the other Indian, armed with a rifle, was 



OF GEN BEN McCULLOCH. Ill 

creeping round trying to level it on McCulloch ; but the ma- 
jor was too cunning even to be caught in a double-handed 
game. By this time Cheshire came up, and McCulloch pro- 
posed a charge. Cheshire, however, thinking it more pru- 
dent to try his rifle, fired ; but it did not tell. The maneuver- 
ing continued — it was a sort of running fight. McCulloch 
charged up close enough to let loose his repeater; two shots 
did no execution and at the third it broke, and the Indian es- 
caped. Cheshire now fired and wounded his man, when the 
Indians retreated, leaving the horses which the Texians 
drove back in triumph to camp. In the interim the foot co?n- 
■pany were in the utmost suspense, watching the prairie to 
catch a glimpse of their returning comrades ; and when they 
at last hove in sight with the horses safe and sound, the air 
was rent with huzzas. Never was there a more joyful crowd 
for never did a set of gentlemen come nearer footing it into 
white settlements." 

McCulloch did not long remain home. It was not in the 
adventurous nature of the man to rust in inactivity while his 
countrymen were performing chivalric deeds in distant Mex- 
ico ; and the peaceful scenes on his loved Gaudalupe 
seemed whispering reproaches to his sensitive mind, though 
he had well earned the right to rest. So, buckling on his 
sword and mounting "Tom," he had but to announce his 
purpose, when a company of ardent and patriotic young 
Texians joined him, many of them being his old comrades, 
and the return to Mexico was commenced. He arrived at 
Monterey January 31st with twenty-seven men, and finding 
the army on the march to Saltillo, he proceeded on to that 
city, arriving on the 4th of February. He reported at once to 
General Taylor, and his company was mustered into the ser- 
vice for the period of six months, receiving orders to remain 
and rest his horses, which were much jaded by the long 
march, until called for. 

But in the stirring scenes about to ensue the Rangers 
could not remain idle spectators, and on the 15th, Major Mc- 
Culloch received orders from General Taylor to repair at 
once to Agua Nueva, eighteen miles distant, and where the 
general had established his headquarters. He was then di- 
rected to make a reconnoissance as far as Encarnacion, an 



112 THE LIFE AND SERVICES 

extensive rancho, which was distant some thirty miles, for 
the purpose of obtaining reliable information in regard to 
the movements of General Santa Anna, who was understood 
to have been charged with the conduct of operations on this 
line. The scout is both the eyes and ears of a commander 
in the field, and he is enabled to prepare for the dispositions 
of his enemy, or to inaugurate aggressive movements him- 
self, intelligently, in proportion to the fullness and reliability 
of his reports. General Taylor had felt seriously the depri- 
vation of the services of McCulloch, whose operations had 
realized to the full the professional conception of the daring, 
prudent, intelligent captain, of this hazardous and all-impor- 
tant feature of the campaign ; and it may be imagined how 
gratified he now was to be able to call to his assistance the 
cool, brave and safe Texian to meet a contingency more 
threatening than any before encountered in the war with 
Mexico. 

On the 16th, Major McCulloch, accompanied by sixteen 
picked men, with Captain Howard and Mr. T. L. Critten- 
den and Lieutenant Clark, of Kentucky infantry, set out on 
the important enterprise. They proceeded without incident 
until within a mile of the town, when the enemy's pickets 
were encountered, who fired a gun at the Rangers and re- 
treated to the ranch. Not being acquainted with the coun- 
try, Major McCulloch was obliged to keep the road. Mc- 
Culloch cautioned his men to be prepared for an attack on 
either side, and at any moment. The night was very dark. 
They continued on, cautiously feeling their way. McCul- 
loch, riding at the head of the little column, perceived the 
dark outlines of an object extending quite across the road, 
and which he imagined was a brush fence ; but soon the 
sharp " Quien Vive?" discovered the presence of a body of 
Mexican cavalry — which had been warned of the American 
advance by the pickets — drawn up in readiness for immedi- 
ate action ; and before a reply could be returned to the chal- 
lenge, they received the enemy's fire, at a distance not ex- 
ceeding twenty yards. 

"Charge 'em, boys!'' thundered McCulloch, at the 
same time putting spurs to his own horse, and with a shout 
and a rush the Texians precipitated themselves upon the 



OF GEN. BEN McCULLOCH. 113 

Mexicans, who gave way, and fled helter skelter for the 
ranch, hotly pursued by the Rangers. McCulloch ascer- 
tained that there was a force of 1,500 cavalry at Encarnacion, 
and as he had accomplished the object of the expedition, at 
once set about the return. It was known that the Mexican 
General Minon was between Encarnacion and Agua Nueva 
with a considerable force of cavalry, and an ordinary man 
would have regarded McCulloch's position as critical in the 
extreme. But not so the Ranger chief, who, through devi- 
ous and intricate paths, brought his command back in safety 
to the American camp. 

The situation of Ben McCulloch, at the head of sixteen 
men, in front of Encarnacion was almost analogous to that 
of Colonel Fannin at Goliad in 1836 ; with many advantages 
in the latter' s favor; and had he acted with the same prompt- 
ness and resolution that characterized the former, he could 
have dispersed the Mexican cavalry in his front and made 
good his retreat to Victoria. Fannin had near 300 men, and 
was opposed by 1,000, all told. McCulloch had sixteen men, 
and in his immediate front were 1,500, and some 500 more 
under Minon in his rear. 

On the 20th of February McCulloch again received or- 
ders to proceed to Encarnacion, to obtain further intelligence 
in regard to Santa Anna's advance. In scouting expedi- 
tions of this nature safety and success, is sought more through 
the efficiency of his men to take care, each one of himself, in 
a sudden emergency, than through any exhibition of force ; 
and hence McCulloch, on this most important occasion, took 
with him only four men besides his second lieutenant, 
Fielding Alston, and Lieutenant Clarke, of the Kentucky 
infantry, who accompanied the scout as a volunteer, in quest 
of adventure. There was no water to be obtained on the 
entire route ; consequently the party did not set out until 
4 p. M., in order to avail themselves of the cover which the 
darkness would afford, and the less cause for thirst in a night 
passage of the dry road. 

Six miles out from Agua Nueva they met a Mexican de- 
serter, who stated that Santa Anna had reached Encarnacion 
with a force of 20,000 men. As the Mexicans, with a na- 



114 THE LIFE AND SERVICES 

tional vanity far in excess of their means, always exaggerated 
their resources and circulated rumors expressly to mislead 
the Americans, but little credence was placed in reports ema- 
nating from such sources. However, McCulloch sent a guard 
with the man to General Taylor, and proceeded on his way. 
At sundown the party left the main road, and turned off into 
the thick chaparral in order to conceal their presence from 
the Mexicans and only touched the road twice during the 
journey and then only to cross it. 

About midnight they arrived in sight of Encarnacion, 
and discovered the enemy encamped in force. The moon 
had just set, and it was quite dark. Proceeding stealthily 
on, unperceived, they succeeded in flanking the videttes, and 
on to the very camp itself. Here, on a slight elevation, Mc- 
Culloch had an obscured view of the encampment, defined 
by the hundreds of smouldering camp fires : the slumber- 
ing host below and the line of guards repeating the custo- 
mary '•''Sentinel Alerto!" being ignorant of a " chiel 
amang them takin' notes." From the extent of the encamp- 
ment McCulloch was enabled very correctly to approximate 
the enemy's force. They then fell back a mile to feed their 
horses some oats which they carried. Lieutenant Alston, 
with all the party but one man, reserved by McCulloch to 
remain with himself, were now started on the return trip, 
with instructions to report to General Taylor as promptly as 
possible. He stated the presence of Santa Anna, in a dis- 
patch to the general, his estimated force, as well as other 
facts, and also that he would remain behind until daylight, 
in order to obtain a full view of the Mexican camp. With 
this object in view McCulloch and Phillips were approach- 
ing the camp by another road, when they suddenly came in 
contact with the picket, who immediately gave them pursuit. 
To be caught was certain death, and as the safest route out of 
the difficulty they galloped up to within a few hundred yards 
of the camp guard, and around these into the broken coun- 
try. Fortunately, their course in the direction of the camp 
led the pickets to believe that they were Mexicans, — for 
they little dreamed of the daring hardihood that would 
account for two Texians being within their lines, — and soon 
gave up the pursuit. They remained concealed until day- 



OF GEN BEN McCULLOCH. 115 

light, about a mile distant from Encarnacion, when their 
ears were assailed by the blasts from the Mexican trumpets, 
bugles and drums. 

At sunrise everything was enveloped in a dense smoke, 
caused by the green wood used as fuel by the soldiers in the 
preparation of their breakfast, there being no breeze to dis- 
sipate it — and McCulloch, although he carried an excellent 
field glass, was prevented from observing much more than 
during the reconnoissance of the preceding night: then 
despairing of accomplishing more they mounted, and after 
riding a few hundred yards, discovered two picket guards, of 
about twenty men each, and separated by an interval of per- 
haps one-eighth of a mile. The Mexicans were drowsy after 
the vigils of the night just past, and imagining the two horse- 
men seen passing between the posts to be comrades in search 
of strayed horses, gave them no heed, — and McCulloch and 
Phillips passed out in safety. Eight miles from Encarna- 
cion McCulloch expected to meet another picket, at a place 
called Tanca la Vaca, and ascending a hill which commanded 
a view of the same, his glass confirmed by their presence his 
judgment and sagacity. He remained upon this hill until 
9 A. m. closely scrutinizing the movements of the picket, and 
the country toward Encarnacion ; hoping that the picket at 
Tanca la Vaca, which was on the road to Agua Nueva, 
would be withdrawn ; but as they remained, he avoided them 
by creeping along the foot of the mountains and out through 
a very narrow pass. 

They felt great relief at the dissipation of the intense 
feeling of suspense under which they had so long been 
placed, and realizing their freedom, gayly galloped down 
the road in the direction of Agua Nueva — which they 
reached on the afternoon of the 21st. Not a tent was seen 
standing on the scene of the late encampment ; but a long 
column of dust rising above the road leading to Buena Vista 
proclaimed the retrograde movement caused by McCulloch' s 
dispatch, by Lieutenant Alston, to General Taylor. The 
general, with only an escort, remained at Agua Nueva, 
whom McCulloch found anxiously waiting for him. Re- 
ceiving the additional particulars which McCulloch was able 
to add to the information already in, General Taylor 



116 THE LIFE AND SER VICES 

said: "Very well, major, that's all I wanted to know. I 
am glad they did not catch you;" and mounting his horse 
rode off with his staff for Buena Vista. 

All in all, the exploits of the Texian Rangers from Mat- 
amoras to Buena Vista, if portrayed fully and with strict 
regard to truth, would seem more like a page torn from me- 
diaeval annals, reciting the deeds of mail clad knights and 
barons ; for there was a gay gallantry, a chivalric bearing in 
the movements of Jack Hayes, Ben McCulloch, Chevalier, 
Walker, Gillespie, John S. Ford, Walter P. Lane, and their 
comrades, which bespoke steel of finest temper and profes- 
sional honor more lofty and refined than that of the code of 
these groveling days. And their memory is — and will be to 
the remotest time — encircled by a halo of glory, consecrated 
to the fame of the glorious lone star, and its peerless pal- 
adins of yore ! 

McCulloch's scout to Encarnacion proved the key to the 
victory of Buena Vista. For had General Taylor remained at 
Agua Nueva, his 4,500 troops could not have maintained them- 
selves against the 20,000 of Santa Anna, as they were enabled 
to do at Buena Vista, by reason of the many advantages 
afforded by that field, and the position chosen upon it, which 
nature had rendered almost impregnable. His patriotic 
countrymen, from the forests of Maine to the chaparrals of 
the Rio Grande, appreciated at their true value the services 
which he rendered, and the Bayard, without fear or reproach, 
was no more the beau ideal of the youth of France, and their 
exemplar, than was Ben McCulloch to those of his own land. 
His services in the Mexican war gave him a national reputa- 
tion ; and his name and .fame was sounded by all. He bore 
his honors with modesty and shrank instinctively from any 
parade of himself; being at all times the plain, unpretentious 
citizen ; yet in spite of himself he was also the famous 
unique Ben McCulloch ! 

Says the encyclopedia so often quoted in this conn' £- 
tion : — 

"While General Taylor lay on the open plain of J gua 
Nueva, McCulloch advanced a hundred miles into th' inte- 
rior, discovered Santa Anna in his overwhelming advance, 
secreted himself on the mountain slope and carefullj counted 



OF GEN. BEN McCULLOCH 117 

his regiments, batallions and batteries, and hastened to Gen- 
eral Taylor with the portentous news. His estimate of 
Santa Anna's strength was almost perfect. It was no secret, 
but a declared fact by General Taylor, that McCulloch 
advised him to abandon the plain of Agua Nueva, or Encar- 
nacion, and fall back eleven miles to La Angostura, where 
the mountains encroach on the plain, forming a narrow pass, 
easy of defense by a small against a large force. General 
Taylor adopted the suggestion, and the Mexican pass of La 
Angostura became the immortal battle ground of Buena 
Vista of the Americans, a name pertaining to an hacienda two 
miles in the rear of the bloody field. " 

In his congratulatory address to his division after the 
victory of Monterey was gained, General Worth paid the 
Texian Rangers the following high compliment: — 

***** " The general feels assured that every indi- 
vidual in the command unites with him in admiration of the 
-distinguished gallantry and conduct of Colonel Hayes and his 
noble band of Texian volunteers — hereafter they and we are 
brothers, and we can desire no better guarantee of success 
than by their association. ******** 

By order Brigadier- General Worth, 

J. C. Pemberton, 
First Lieutenant and Aide-de-Camp. 

In recognition of his services immediately preceding the 
battle of Buena Vista, and during that warmly contested 
engagement, General Taylor promoted him to the rank of 
major and assigned him to duty in the quartermaster's 
department ; for which branch of the service he had no inclina- 
tion whatever, and only consented to serve in that connec- 
tion sufficiently long to enable him to visit Texas and effect 
the purchase of a supply of mules and horses, the want of 
which was being sorely felt. This mission accomplished to 
the entire satisfaction of the authorities, he was directed to 
accompany and assist General Twiggs in locating the United 
States military posts or forts along the border of Texas. 
At the conclusion of this latter duty, he resigned his com- 
mission and retired to the quiet scenes of the Gaudalupe 
valley, where he spent a few years of peace and quiet after 
a life of danger, hardship and exposure. 



118 THE LIFE AND SERVICES 

Through the influence of himself and Henry, their vener- 
able mother came to Texas, so as to be within reach of her 
children ; the two brothers taking upon themselves the obli- 
gation that she should never want for any thing. The love 
and reverence of those brave, stern men for their mother is 
one of the most beautiful traits of their character, and worthy 
of all emulation. To her — long after their names were 
sounded by the trump of fame — they were always simply "My 
boys;" and she was to them in after life, as when they 
sported around "Ben's tree" in the old Tennessee home, 
"Mother !" 

In regard to the personnel of McCulloch's company, it can 
be said that the men were from the higher walks of life ; mostly 
young and adventurous spirits, many of whom subsequently 
became citizens of sterling worth and influence. But, alas, 
the names of by far the greater number are now forgotten ; 
but, without a single exception, they continued their friend- 
ship for, and admiration of their old captain in whatever 
sections of country, or circumstances their fortunes were cast. 
Abel Seymour Cunningham, located in Victoria, Texas, 
was long a leading lawyer of West Texas ; married Miss 
Martha McGrew ; died in Victoria about the year 1859. 
Col. S. McCall Fenner, of the same place, married his 
widow about the year 1866. 

Judge Cunningham was an ardent admirer of Ben 
McCulloch; pronounced him a thoroughly competent man 
and qualified for high command. 

James L. Allen, was a lawyer of Gonzales, Texas ; and 
just from Lexington, Kentucky, when the Mexican war 
commenced ; served in the Texas legislature two terms, and 
subsequently in that of Kentucky, to which state he returned. 

John D. Anderson, was elected to a seat in the Texas 
legislature, and died at Austin in 1S4S. 

William Armstrong ; afterward became surveyor of 
"Milam Land District;" located near Round Rock, in 
Travis county ; joined McCulloch in Arkansas, in 1861 ; per- 
formed valuable service as a scout and spy. After the battle 
of Elk Horn he was made a prisoner in Fayetteville, Arkan- 
sas, taken to Springfield, Missouri, and confined in the upper 
story of the college building. One night an old Illinois 



OF GEN. BEN McCULLOCH. 119 

friend, of the Union army, whispered to him that he was to 
be executed as a spy the next morning. He improvised a 
rope of his blanket, by which means he descended through 
a window to the ground and effected his escape. Later he 
became the colonel of an Arkansas regiment, and died about 
1866. 

Archibald Gipson ; married Miss Putman, whose family 
were captured by the Comanches in early pioneer times. 
He was at the battle of Plum Creek and in Hayes' charge on 
the rear guard of General Woll, on the Hondo in September, 
1842, where he received a ball in one eye, passing out at the 
lobe behind the ear; and, strange to say, did not loose the 
use of it, though it became smaller than its fellow. Says 
Colonel Brown : — 

" 'Arch' acted with great bravery at both places ; of which 
I was an eye witness. " 

"Jack" Everett; quite deaf ; was from Mobile, Alabama; 
a brother of Mrs. M. M. Potter, of Galveston ; long resided 
at Rio Grande City, after the conclusion of the Mexican war. 

James T. Lytle ; author of the "Ranger's Song;" a 
splendid and talented young man. He served two sessions 
in the state senate, and died in Port Lavaca during the win- 
ter of 1853-4. He married, first, "Mag," only child of 
Mrs. A. B. Eberly, and niece of Bailey Peyton, of Tennes- 
see. She died October, 1850, leaving a son a few days old. 
Lytle then married "Betty," widow of T. M. R. Bankhead 
— grand daughter of Thomas Jefferson — and only child of 
Maj. Richard Pryor, of Hempstead county, Arkansas, in 
1853. Mrs. Lytle was married to Governor F. S. Stocdale 
in 1S57, who had been the co-partner, in the practice of law, 
of Mr. Lytle ; and as in the former instance, their bridal tour 
was via the state capital, Mr. Stocdale having been elected 
to a seat in the senate. Mrs. Stocdale died in Austin, Texas, 
in the year 1864 ; her husband having been called to the 
Chief Magistracy of the state. 

William Dean ; came from Tennessee in 1835 ; long lived 
near the "Falls of the Brazos," and finally in southwest 
Texas. He saw much service, and was a brave and worthy 
man. 



120 THE LIFE AND SERVICES 

Clinton E. De Witt; was a son of Green De Witt, the 
cmprcsario ; a brave and daring Ranger; deceased. 

Doctor John Duff Brown, at present of Llano, Texas ; 
came to Texas, a child, with his father in 1S27 ; tne latter 
dying in San Antonio in 1S31. He was educated in Ken- 
tucky, returning home from his studies just in time to attach 
himself to McCulloch's company in 1846; afterward was 
surgeon of Henry E. McCulloch's company in Hamilton's 
and the San Marcos valleys ; and served as a popular captain 
in Waul's legion during "the late unpleasantness." 

John McMullen, moved to California. 

Samuel C. Reid, an attorney of the New Orleans bar, 
who, going to Brazos San Diego as adjutant of a regiment of 
Louisiana Infantry, resigned, and attached himself to McCul- 
loch's company as a private; and who, after serving with 
great gallantry, published a history of the operations of 
McCulloch's command in Mexico. 

Other members of the command were : J. F. Minter ; 
Musson, of New Orleans; Captain Cheshire; John P. 
Waters ; Oliver Jenkins ; Thomas Law ; William Phillips 
and Fielding Alston. 

Richard Roman ; originally from Kentucky ; served in 
the San Jacinto campaign and was present at the battle of 
El Alta Limftio, fought between Gen. J. M. J. Carbajal, 
commanding forces of the "Federalists," and General Par- 
von, of the "Centralists," in the state of Tamaulipas, Mex- 
ico, in iS3o, ; served in the Texas congress, as representative 
from the municipality of Victoria; went to California in 
1S49, and was for many years treasurer of the state. 



OF GEN. BEN McCULLOCH. 121 



CHAPTER VII 



From the conclusion of his services in Mexico until the 
year 1S49, Ben McCulloch earned his daily bread with his 
chain and compass, and sought recreation in an occasional 
skirmish with the Comanches. On these surveying expedi- 
tions his rifle kept- the larder well supplied with bear meat, 
venison and turkey, in all of which species of game the Sierrias 
or hills, to the north and west of San Antonio, abounded. 

He read with avidity every book upon which he could lay 
his hands, especially those describing the campaigns of the 
great captains of ancient and modern times, history, biogra- 
phy and travel. For fiction he cared nothing — it was the 
mere tinsel of literature, and he had no more time or inclina- 
tion to indulge in its divertisement than in the frivolities of 
dress, or puerilities of social conventionalities. His nature 
was pre-eminently of a martial mould, and he loved to com- 
pare the strategy of various military men as illustrated in the 
histories of their campaigns ; and upon this line he was per- 
fectly conversant with all the more salient points in 
the manceuvers of Alexander, Pyrrus, Hannibal, Cassar, 
Charlemagne, " The Great Captain," Marlboro, Eugene 
and Napoleon ; and if there was any one passion which pre- 
dominated in the almost perfect equilibrium of his nature, it 
was the faculty responsive ,to war-like appeals. He loved a 
good horse and was fond of fire arms, and availed himself 
of every opportunity to inspect anything new or rare in this 
line, in regard to which his opinions were received as those 
of a connoisseur. The writer remembers — while a cadet at 
the Texas Military Institute — an elegant Turkish scimeter 
presented to Col. C. G. Forshey, the superintendent, by 
Maj. Ben McCulloch. 



122 THE LIFE AND SERVICES 

As before stated, his Mexican record had given him a 
national reputation ; but, as is too often the case, it failed 
wholly in the contribution of more material tokens of gratitude ; 
and when in 1S49 the "California fever" seized so many of 
our old Texian heroes, McCulloch, like Hayes, Roman and 
others, set out with a party of friends for those auriferous 
shores, going overland through Mexico to the port of Mazat- 
]an, and from thence by ship to San Francisco. Upon the 
organization of society in the new state, Ben McCulloch was 
elected sheriff of Sacramento the same day that his old 
brother in arms was honored in San Francisco by being 
called to a similar position of responsibility ; for the office of 
sheriff in California at that early period — filled as the coun- 
try was with adventurous spirits from almost every land — 
was no sinecure. Of course, it goes without the saying that 
both these old Ranger chiefs made efficient officers, and in 
their immediate bailiwicks, at least, preserved the public 
peace against turbulence and crime ; for with Ben McCul- 
loch it was a maxim that what is worth doing at all is worth 
doing well, and hence with him there was no halfway meas- 
ures, no hesitancy. He was a positive man, and thorough 
in all things. 

But the confinement and restraints of official life became 
insupportable, and though the perquisites of the office were 
just becoming lucrative, he declined a re-election, though 
urged to give his consent to the use of his name ; and made 
a campaign against the grizzly bears before returning to 
Texas, for which state he found his love too strong to be 
severed, be the considerations what they might. 

He reached Texas — home — in 1S52, and the year follow- 
ing was appointed, by President Pierce, United States mar- 
shall for the coast district of Texas ; and by re-appointment 
held the office nearly eight years. This position afforded 
him the means of gratifying his thirst for the acquirement of 
military knowledge, from which he had previously been pre- 
cluded by want of fortune ; and he spent much of his time in 
the libraries of the national capital, studying the text books 
upon the art of war. In this way he mastered the works of 
many of the masters who treat of warfare as a science — Caesar, 



OF GEN. BEN McCULLOCH. 123 

Alexander, Turenne, Vauban, Frederick, Napier, etc. ; giv- 
ing full heed to all the technicalities of each arm of the ser- 
vice — gunnery, fortifications, cavalry, infantry and artillery 
tactics, evolutions of the line, operations of the quartermas- 
ter and commissary departments, the strategy of campaigns 
— lines of advance, of retreat, etc., etc. ; and at this time — 
i860 — he was a very different man from the popular concep- 
tion of him, which was that he was unsurpassed as a bold, 
prudent and wholly reliable scout, a good Indian fighter and 
a safe captain. Says the Encyclopedia of the New West: — 

"Only those familiar with his laborious studies and inter- 
course with our most eminent military men after the Mexican 
war, were aware of his profound knowledge of war as a 
science." 

When Congress authorized the formation of two new reg- 
iments of mounted riflemen, feeling that his past services 
entitled him to that consideration and reward, Major McCul- 
loch sought the appointment of himself to the colonelcy of 
one of them. But instead he was tendered the position of 
major, at which his friends, and among them Senators Rusk 
and Houston, felt aggrieved and counseled him to decline the 
offer, which he did. He felt keenly the sting of this act of 
injustice ; for since his twenty-fifth year until the close of the 
Mexican war, he had served the country continuously with 
arms in his hands ; and as the head of the spy and scout ser- 
vice in Mexico, from Matamoras to Encarnacion, his services 
were of inestimable value to General Taylor, who, with an 
honest, blunt candor characteristic of himself, acknowledged 
his sense of obligation to McCulloch. The best years of his 
life had been spent in the service of his country — for it all 
ultimately redounded to the benefit and glory of the United 
States — during all which time his private fortunes were 
wholly neglected. He had become a soldier by the force of 
inexorable circumstances, and feeling himself best suited to 
a military career, fitted himself by years of arduous study for 
intelligent and creditable service, in view of the very contin- 
gency which occurred, and with the result stated. In order 
not to interrupt his military studies, and divert his purpose 
from the plan of life formed, he had twice declined the appoint- 
ment of Territorial governor: in short, he had sacrificed 






124 THE LIFE AND SERVICES 

every thing to the attainment of the one dear object of his 
laudable ambition, only to see his hopes dashed to the 
ground in the very moment when their full fruition was ren- 
dered possible. 

In connection with the Mormon troubles, pending the 
advance of Gen. A. Sidney Johnston with a corps of United 
States troops upon Salt Lake City, he accepted the appoint- 
ment, in conjunction with Governor Powell, of Kentucky , 
to the post of commissioner^ through whose wise and pru- 
dent measures a collision was averted and the trouble with' 
that turbulent people composed. 

The following excerpt from the Galveston JVews, of that 
period illustrated his admirable management of the funds 
passing through his custody while filling the office of United 
States marshal : 

"A Good Showing For a Texas Officer: — We learn 
by an official letter from Washington City, that Maj. Ben 
McCulloch, late marshal of this district, has had a final set- 
tlement with the government, and has been allowed $2,046.- 
21, as the balance due him, this being $18.06 more than the 
amount claimed by him. This difference in account may be 
considered as pretty close, considering the amount disbursed 
by him on account of the government during the past seven 
years of his official duties, has been about $160,000. In 
addition to this, the various collections made by him under 
executions and judgments, must have amounted to $400,- 
000, or perhaps $500,000 ; every dollar of which has been 
promptly paid over to the proper party, or properly 
accounted for to the satisfaction of all parties concerned. 
We have learned from other sources that Major McCul- 
loch has conducted the business of his office more to the 
entire satisfaction of the departments than almost any mar- 
shal in the Union. It is something worthy of notice in these 
degenerate days, that the gallant major has acquitted him- 
self in his civil duties with as much honor to himself, and 
fidelity to the country as he always has in his varied services 
on the battlefield, from the memorable day of San Jacinto to 
the close of the Mexican war." 

Major McCulloch was promptly brought forward as a can- 
didate for the S3at soon to be vacated by General Houston in the 



OF GEN. BEN McCULLOCH. 125 

United States senate, by his friends; and much to his annoy- 
ance and regret, as he had no taste for such duties and no 
ambition in that direction. Two letters are here reproduced, 
showing in what light he viewed his informal nomination to 
succeed Senator Houston, and the motives which governed 
his action in connection with tenders of promotion in the 
military service of the country, upon the increase of the 
army at that time by the formation of several new regiments. 

Washington City, March 7, 1855. 

Dear Henry: — You will have ere this reaches you 

learned what has been the fate of the "army bill," and of 

the appointment of field officers ; but will not know what I 

have concluded to do as regards the appointment offered me. 

/ intend to decline its accepta?ice ; and will give you some 
of my reasons for so doing, now ; but will enter into them 
more fully when we meet. First and foremost, I am 
f he only appointee from the citizens ; giving me the dis- 
tinction which may create jealousy and bad feeling among 
the officers, without the difference to compensate for it. I 
being only one step from a captaincy in rank, the lowest on 
the list of majors of cavalry. I contended with the presi- 
dent and secretary of war that the country had some claim 
upon these appointments, and that they ought not to fill 
them all from the army, that the country would complain ; 
and that the bill never would have passed congress had it 
been known no citizen would be given anything over a cap- 
taincy. How will the country receive the announcement, 
that out of all her gallant men who led the troops to battle 
and to victory in Mexico, there is not one who has capacity 
or experience sufficient to command a regiment or batallion ? 
If there had been only three or four appointments made from 
civilians, the awkwardness of my position would have been 
removed ; it then would have* been conceded by the officers 
of the army that the citizens had claims on these new regi- 
ments for some appointments, and that they had been given 
their portion and no jealousy would have arisen. As it 
is now, I may be looked upon as the only intruder upon 
their rights ; inferring from the appointments made that 
the new regiments were created for their special benefit. 



126 THE LIFE AND SERVICES 

Aside from this, I have been woefully deceived by the 
president. I say this to y 021 in confidence. He first told me 
that he would appoint me to a colonelcy ; and it was further 
said by him that he thought it best to make the appointment 
and send it in without consulting Davis ; as he (Davis) was 
disposed to be in favor of making appointments from the 
line of the army ; and he also said for me not to get any 
more names to my recommendation, as it was entirely unnec- 
essary. This I have, fortunately, told to nobody. On Sat- 
urday, the 3d, he sent for me, and then told me it was pro- 
posed to give me a lieutenant-colonelcy. I frankly told him 
that I could not accept without first consulting some of my 
friends, and selected Rusk and Bell ; had a talk with them ; 
saw him again by appointment at the capitol about 8 at 
night, and told him I would leave it with Rusk and Bell 
and himself whether I should accept a lieutenant-colonelcy ; 
saying at the same time to Rusk and Bell that your appoint- 
ment as marshal would induce me to accept, provided they 
concurred. I also said to the president, if it was determined 
I should be given a lieutenant-colonelcy, that he would con- 
fer a favor by giving me one of high grade. Being unwell, 
I left the capitol, and heard no more until about ten the next 
day (Sunday) when Colonel Davis, secretary of war, called 
to see me, and said it was proposed to give me a majority, 
and the lowest on the list at that. I informed him that I 
wished to confer with General Rusk, but if I could not do 
so, I would be obliged to him if he would say to the presi- 
dent that I would prefer to have my claims passed over than 
to accept such an appointment. * * * Do you think — after 
all this, and more, that I can — that I ought to accept? No: 
you will determine as I have, and think as I think, and 
would do as I am going to do. State in the letter declining 
the appointment the grounds of your refusal and give it pub- 
lication, — and consequently fall under the displeasure of the 
administration. Let it come ! There is no reason why I 
should seek to conciliate an administration that has treated 
others, as well as myself, (who had claims for promotion in 
the army) as this has. 

I will be in New Orleans by the first of April, on my 
way to Tyler, and will go on with the office, provided I am 



OF GEN BEN McCULL OCH. 127 

not removed ; and if such should occur, will leave things as 
favorable as possible for you. I hope to hear from you on 
this subject. Give my best love to Isabell and the boys 
and believe me your friend and brother, Ben. 

H. E. McCulloch. 



Washington, September 13, 1857. 

Dear Henry: — I am on the eve of departure for the 
West; I do not mean Kansas, as times are too hard to raise 
money for that purpose, as I had intended a short time since ; 
however, I am interested in some projects, which, if successful, 
will turn out something handsome in the money line. I will 
tell you of them when we meet, which will most probably 
be at Austin, at the meeting of the legislature. I at present 
think it will be well to be there, as the frequent mention of 
my name in the papers in connection with the United States 
senate, might get me into a false position. The president 
expressed the hope the other day when I called on him, that 
I would be chosen senator ; and the secretary of war has more 
than once done the same, and other distinguished men have 
mentioned the subject to me. This I mention to you to sat 
isfy you that there might be something in what I am going 
to say to you in regard to it: Whenever this subject has 
been mentioned in my presence I invariably tried to do away 
with the impression that I was at all prominent before the 
people of Texas in connection with the senatorial succession ; 
and mentioned the fact of my non-acquaintance with many 
of the members of the legislature. In truth I am sorry that 
my name ever got into the papers in connection with the 
matter, for the simple reason that it is more likely to do me 
harm instead of good. I will explain: 

In the first place, my prominence now and defeat event- 
ually, would be unfortunate ; and to be elected would in all 
probability prove, at most, but a compliment, as I would 
most certainly not take my seat in the senate in the event of 
being offered the command of a regiment for frontier pro- 
tection. This I feel quite certain of, — both as to the raising 
of some additional regiments, and having the command of 
one of them tendered me. So you see there is little to be 
gained and much to be lost, by having my name mixed up 



128 THE LIFE AND SERVICES 

with the subject. If the legislature should think proper to 
confer the office upon me, I should most certainly esteem it 
the highest compliment that had ever been, or, in all proba- 
bility, ever would be paid me ; but at the same time would 
never expect to enter upon its duties ; as it is two years to 
the expiration of General Houston's term, and ere that time 
I hope to be in the army. If I do not reach Austin in time, 
you must see that my name is not to be used in that connec- 
tion if there is a single chance for defeat ; this might be 
avoided in the event there was a caucus of the western mem- 
bers, which I think most likely to occur, as the west will 
permit the east to fill General Rusk's seat with whom they 
please ; and it is but fair that they should control their own 
section. I look for a warm contest between certain gentle- 
men for this nomination. 

* * * * At present I think of being at Austin at the 
meeting of the legislature ; but in the event I am not, don't 
let me run any risk of defeat for an office for which I am not 
an aspirant. I will write you again. Your brother, 

H. E. McCulloch. Ben. 

He repaired to the state capital upon the sitting of the 
secession convention, and was thus described by a friend of 
the writer: — 

"We have at this hotel, also, Maj. Ben McCulloch, who 
among men is unique, original and always himself — the 
same old, plain, unpretending ' Ben.' I can't say that he 
does not adumbrate a shadow, like the great Corsican, but 
certain am I that he has no model. He has killed more bear 
than Davy Crockett, fought more Indians than Daniel Boone, 
and in Mexico he was simply incomparable. But there is 
nothing about him savoring of the backwoodsman, as one 
would expect. He is a man of vigorous mind, fine sense, 
big views, and thoroughly posted on all questions that enter 
into the political controversies of the hour ; and if we have 
war, as some alarmists would have us believe, you will 
hear from him or I am much mistaken. 

" He sits to the right of the landlady at table, and nearly 
opposite me. The other morning he said, addressing 
madam: 'Aunt Lucy, all these breakfast rolls and nick- 
nacks are too good for me ; just you have for my meals a 



OF GEN. BEN McCULLOCH. 129 

hoe-cake (corn meal baked on the hearth), a little dried beef 
and a cup of coffee without sugar or cream ! ' About 10 
A. m. every day he, with two or three friends, repairs to the 
bank of the river and spends an hour or two in rifle practice, 
— trying the metal of a new gun which some connoisseur in 
such things sent him from Washington City. He is strictly 
temperate, not drinking at all, nor using tobacco in any of 
its forms.' ' 

He had just returned from Washington City to offer to 
his state his services, in the event of its secession from the 
Federal Union. He was at once commissioned by the con- 
vention to raise volunteers and march for the capture of the 
arsenal and garrison at San Antonio and other posts. In 
response to the sound of his slogan call, eight hundred armed 
men assembled in three days ; and at their head, and without 
the firing of a gun, received the surrender of the Federal 
troops, together with all arms and munitions of war in the 
place. 

He was next employed by the convention in purchasing 
arms for the state, in which business he was also successful. 
President Davis tendered him a colonel's commission, with 
authority to raise a Texas regiment for the Confederate ser- 
vice ; but he declined the appointment, says the encyclope- 
dia, "for grave reasons," and Henry E. McCulloch was 
commissioned as such in his stead. From the same excel- 
lent work last quoted we learn that " a qualified coolness 
had existed between Major McCulloch and President Davis, 
of some years standing." But, however that may be, Mr. 
Davis knowing McCulloch's worth, did not suffer personal 
differences to influence his official action ; and on the 14th of 
May, 186 1, Ben McCulloch was commissioned a brigadier- 
general in the service of the Confederate States, and assigned 
to the command of a military district embracing the Indian 
Territory, west of Arkansas. It is but just to Mr. Davis, as 
showing that he entertained no harsh feeling for General 
McCulloch, and that he wished to see justice done the mem- 
ory of that brave soldier, to reproduce the following excerpt 
from a private letter addressed to the writer by the venerable 
chief of the Confederate government, from Beauvoir, Missis- 
sippi, under date of October 23d, 1883: — 



130 THE LIFE AND SERVICES 

"I am glad that you are about to engage in a biograph- 
ical work to do full justice to McCulloch. I knew him well, 
as we served in the same column in Mexico ; and after the 
capitulation of Monterey he remained with General Taylor's 
army, in command of a company of scouts, where he ren- 
dered very valuable service and displayed vigilance, judg- 
ment and gallantry, whenever those qualities were required.'* 

The following gentlemen served on the staff of General 
McCulloch, a brief biographical sketch of each of whom will 
be found at the conclusion of the narrative proper, as well 
as the date of their respective arrivals at his headquarters in 
Arkansas : — 

James Mcintosh, Captain and Acting Adjutant-General. 

L. L. Lomax, First Lieutenant and Inspector-General. 

Frank Armstrong, volunteer Aid-de-camp. 

Frank C. Armstrong, First Lieutenant and Aid-de-camp. 

Dillon, Major and Commissary Subsistence. 

Wm. Meade Montgomery, Major and Quartermaster. 

John Henry Brown, Major and Aid-de-camp. 

The following instructions were furnished General 
McCulloch, and were to constitute the rule of his official 
action : — 

Adjutant and Inspector General's Office, ) 
Montgomery, may 13, 1861. ) 
Brigadier-General McCulloch, commanding, Montgomery, 

Alabama : — 

Sir — The following instructions are communicated by 
direction of the secretary of war: — 

Having been appointed a brigadier-general of volunteers 
in the service of the Confederate States, you are assigned to 
the command of the district embracing the Indian Territory 
lying west of Arkansas and south of Kansas. Your field of 
operations will be to guard the Territory against invasions 
from Kansas or elsewhere. 

For this purpose there will be placed at your disposal 
three regiments of volunteers, viz : one regiment of mounted 
men from Texas, to serve for a term of eighteen months ; 
one of mounted men from Arkansas, to serve during the 
war, and one regiment of foot from Louisiana, to serve 



OF GEN BEN McCULLOCH. 131 

for twelve months. These several regiments will be organ- 
ized in conformity to the law relating to volunteer forces, 
and will rendezvous — that from Texas at Dallas, in that 
state, and the two others at Fort Smitn. Arkansas. Inde- 
pendent of this force it i.° desirable to engage, if possible, 
the service of any of the Indian tribes occupying the Terri- 
tory referred to, in number equal to two regiments. 

This force, should you be able to obtain it, you are author- 
ized to receive and organize as a part of your command, 
for such service as yoi?r judgment may determine. 

Such supplies of the ordnance, quartermaster's and com- 
missary departments in Texas and Arkansas as are under 
the control of the War Department, and to such extent as 
may be needed for your operations, will be subject to youf 
oi;ders. 

Besides the duties above referred to, there are others 
which are deemed highly important, and which demand your 
earliest attention. It has been represented to the Depart 
ment that there is at this time a large garrison of United 
States troops at Fort Washita. This force, consisting of six 
companies of cavalry and five companies of infantry, in all 
about 800 men, with a battery of field artillery, has been 
concentrated at Washita, preparatory to a movement thence 
in a northern direction, through the Indian country into Kan- 
sas. It is desirable that these troops should be captured 
with the least practicable delay. 

You will therefore, in proceeding to Texas, take Arkan- 
sas in your route, and after satisfying yourself there of the 
position and numbers of these troops, organize such force as 
may be necessary in your opinion to take Fort Washita and 
capture its garrison, or, should the troops have left there, to 
intercept them on their march. Captain Mcintosh, of cav- 
alry, has been ordered to report to you at Little Rock for 
such duties as you may assign to him. and such other officers 
of the Confederate States army as can be spared from their 
present duties will be ordered to you for similar service. 
The sum of $25,000 will be placed in your hands for dis- 
bursement in the service of your command, and for which 



132 THE LTFE AND SER VICES 

you will account to the proper accounting officers of the 
Treasury Department. 

Very respectfully, your obedient servant, 

S. Cooper, 
Adjutant and Inspector-General. 

General McCulloch, accompanied by Capt. James Mcin- 
tosh and Major Montgomery, reached Fort Smith, Arkansas 
about the 20th of May. 

Here he found himself a commander charged with a very 
important duty — the defence of the Indian Territory and 
through that medium the protection of Arkansas and North 
Texas — without an army, without supplies and wholly desti- 
tute of arms. Says the Encyclopedia: — 

"He came unannounced, without bluster, fuss or feathers, 
in the garb of a plain citizen. He meant business, and real- 
ized the difficulties and responsibilities of his position. 
Pomp, parade and nonsense had no place about him." 

He at once set about the herculean task committed to his 
charge ; and his zeal, intelligence and industry were made to 
contribute in lieu of the necessary material means which his 
government was powerless to supply him. He was soon in 
correspondence with the executives of Arkansas and Texas. 

Captain Mcintosh was called to the colonelcy of an 
Arkansas regiment of mounted riflemen — still, however, per- 
forming the duties of adjutant on the general staff. Col. 
Thomas J. Churchill also reported for duty at the head of an 
Arkansas regiment of mounted riflemen. Both these regi- 
ments were mustered into the Confederate service. There 
had been a painful uncertainty in regard to the action of 
Missouri in regard to the position she would assume in rela- 
tion to the antagonistic sections ; but when, about this time, 
the state convention declared against secession ; and Gen. 
Sterling Price, an avowed Union man, entered into a con- 
vention with Gen. W. S. Harney, the Federal commander, 
through which the authority of the Federal government was 
to be upheld, it was supposed that that state, like Maryland, 
would not allign herself with her seceding sisters ; and Gen- 
eral McCulloch consequently occupied his attention with 
matters relating more immediately to the Indian Territory. 



Ofi GEN. BEN McCULLOCII. *35 

He wished to cover this with his troops in order not only to 
repel by force any armed movement from Kansas, but to put 
a stop to the ingress of Federal emissaries, who were sowing 
among the Creeks and Cherokees, the seeds of dissatisfac- 
tion. But he encountered difficulties from the very people 
he purposed assisting; as explanatory of which, and also of 
the attitude of the Missouri authorities at the period immedi 
ately under discussion, the reader is referred to the official 
documents appended to the conclusion of this chapter. 
However, through the medium of Gen. Albert Pike, Con- 
federate States commissioner to the Indians, and the volun- 
tary contributions to the same end on the part of Capt. Law- 
rence S. Ross, a gallant young Texian Ranger, and soon to 
become the dashing Confederate cavalry leader, a treaty was 
finally made by which all the tribes of the Territory stipu- 
lated to make common cause with the South. 

The United States government refused to ratify the con- 
vention between Generals Harney and Price, and superseded 
the former in the command of the Federal forces in Missouri 
by the assignment of General Lyon to the same. General 
Price was a Union man on patriotic principles ; and when he 
discovered that the United States government had lent its 
force and authority to the abolition propaganda, and that the 
programme was simply a vindictive crusade against the 
South, and the freeing of the slaves — all ostensibly in the 
cause of the Union — he called upon Missourians to rally 
'neath the standard of the state, in defense of its government 
and the institutions of their section. Events now followed 
in rapid succession in that unfortunate state, which had been 
beguiled into a disarmament of its forces ; and with a few 
noble and brave, though wholly undisciplined citizen sol- 
diery, the Missouri generals disputed the possession of their 
soil with the "blue coats;" and finally retired to the " cow 
skin " prairie in the southwest corner of the state. 

Relinquishing the affairs of the Territory to subordinates, 
McCulloch determined to throw forward his entire force to 
the support of the Missouri patriots ; and avail his cause of 
any opportunity which might arise in that connection. The 
adyance of General Lyon in pursuit of the Missourians to the 
Arkansas line had the effect of rousing the people of the 



134 THE LIFE AND SER VICES 

latter state to a realization of their peril ; and the following 
Arkansas volunteer organizations, commanded by General 
Pearce, reported for duty to the Confederate commander: — 

The regiments of Colonels Dockery, Gratiot and Carroll ; 
the batteries of Woodruff and Reid, and the independent 
company of Captain Reiff. About the ioth of June the 
excellent Third Louisiana regiment of infantry arrived, in 
command of Col. Louis Hebert. This was a splendid body 
of young men, officered by experienced officers, and armed 
with Mississippi rifles. They were well drilled and thor- 
oughly disciplined ; and in their neat gray uniforms and sol- 
dierly bearing, presented a pleasing contrast to the undiscip- 
lined rabble then constituting the Confederate army in that 
quarter. It was rumored that Jim Lane, at the head of a 
large body of "Jay-hawkers" was threatening to invade 
Arkansas ; that Lyon had taken Fort Wayne ; but in pursuit 
of his purpose, McCulloch passed the Boston mountains, 
and encamped his force at Camp Jackson, near Maysville, 
about 30th of June. Learning that a force of Union Home 
Guards were stationed at Neosho for the purpose of inter- 
cepting Governor Jackson, who at the head of a small party 
was attempting to reach Arkansas, McCulloch dispatched 
Colonel Mcintosh, in command of a detachment of cavalry, 
to clear the way. This the gallant Mcintosh did by the cap- 
ture of the Federals, together with their arms, munitions and 
camp equipage.* 

A story altogether characteristic of McCulloch was cur- 
rent in the army at that time, in regard to the medium through 
which he received the accurate description of the position of 
the "Yanks" and country about Neosho, as to render possi- 
sible their surprise and capture ; and which was to the effect 
that disguised as a drover, he had visited the town T offering 
a herd of beeves for sale, some days previous to Mcintosh's 
unannounced visit, — and thus — unsuspected — spied out the 
land to his own satisfaction. Immediately on the return of 
Mcintosh, General McCulloch held an informal review of 
his troops, and moved up to Camp Stevens, distant twenty 
miles from Camp Jackson. 

* Vide his report of same at conclusion of this chapter. 



OF GEN. BEN McCULLOCH. 135 

Here a lady reached General McCulloch, bearing dis- 
patches from General Price. The advance continued and 
on the 28th of July the state line was reached, and the army 
entered Missouri ; and on the same day the desired junction 
with General Price was made. The Missourians met the 
Confederates with : 

"Boys, old Lyon swears he will drive us into the gulf 
and drown us ! " 

"D n Lyon!" irreverently replied a ' Confed/ 

"he'll find that 'old Ben' don't work in the lead worth a 
cuss ! " 

The combined "armies" — numbering about 6,000 men 
— remained near Cassville, very quietly, until August 2d, 
when the enemy was discovered advancing. The army of 
General Lyon, estimated at about six thousand men, 
encamped about five miles from the Confederate position ; 
the intervening space being occupied by the cavalry of both 
armies, and skirmishes, affairs of outposts, etc., were of daily 
occurrence. The country about Cassville is very poor, and 
the southern commissaries found it impossible to subsist the 
army there longer;, and, in consequence of a " council " 
between Generals McCulloch and Price, an advance was 
agreed upon. McCulloch attempted to decoy the Federal 
cavalry into a cul de sac on the 4th, and came near succeed- 
ing ; but they "smelt a mouse" in time and respectfully 
declined the invitation. 

On the evening of the 4th the Third Texas cavalry arrived. 
Elkanah Greer, Colonel ; Walter P. Lane, Lieutenan— Col- 
onel, and G. W. Chilton, Major. This was a splendid body 
of cavalry. The late Brigadier-General, M. D. Ector, sub- 
sequently of the Texas Court of Appeals, was the adjutant. 
The Missouri forces were illy organized, badly armed and 
most miserably supplied with the necessaries of camp life. 
That they were unsurpassed for individual bravery and forti- 
tude, the simple story of their heroic conduct is proof. 
They had been driven to the last resort of insulted manhood 
by the flagitious outrages of the Federals (see letter of Mr. 
Haywood at end of this chapter), and could have possessed 
no greater incentive to nerve them to acts of desperation. 

The Arkansians were somewhat better armed and drilled ; 



136 THE LIFE AND SERVICES 

and having but recently left their homes, were well enough 
clothed. The Louisianians were equipped in all particulars 
as well as could have been desired. The Texians, one 
thousand strong, all young men, were well mounted and 
well armed and equipped ; the first to leave the state ; and 
hence, had received the arms, wagons, etc., of the Federals 
surrendered at San Antonio and other places in Texas. 
The advance was steadily prosecuted, -*— cavalry covering 
either flank. 

An incident will be related here as tending to illustrate 
the disposition of General McCulloch to rely upon his own 
resources at all times: The head of the column had just 
entered a strip of woods, beyond which a large, level prairie 
extended for several miles. General McCulloch was seen 
standing apart, gazing long and earnestly through his field 
glass, — when suddenly a wave of the hand summoned an aid- 
de-camp to his side, who soon brought orders for the Louis- 
iana regiment to take position on the right, in a dense 
growth of hazel which skirted the road. Every man was 
commanded to conceal himself, — a section of a field battery 
was hastily run to the front, rapidly unlimbered. loaded and 
pointed so as to command the road ! No one but the gen- 
eral knew the cause for all this preparation ; and the hurried 
whisper sped from one to another: " What is it?" In a 
brief space a cloud of dust was seen to rise far over the prai- 
rie ; and as it approached nearer a body of Federal cavalry 
was seen in hot pursuit of one of McCulloch's scouts. They 
dashed blindly up to within point blank range of the ambus- 
cade, when comprehending the situation they suddenly 
wheeled and scampered away. The Louisianians were not a 
little surprised to hear no order to fire come from their 
general, when but his word was necessary to have emptied a 
number of their saddles. 

There is no doubt but General McCulloch refrained from 
giving the command purely on humanitarian grounds : A 
dozen or more men killed in this outpost affair would have 
no effect whatever upon the general result of the campaign, 
— and wanton destruction of human life, even in war, is but 
murder. He had saved his bold and faithful scout, and 
given the enemy a good scare, and was satisfied with the 



OF GEN BEN McCULLOCH. 137 

result. The advance was at once resumed, and the weary 
men were frequently cheered by the reports of citizens living 
upon the road that the enemy had passed only two or three 
hours before ; and on the 6th instant the army pitched camp 
on Wilson's Creek, ten miles south of Springfield, to which 
own General Lyon retired. The various commands were 
encamped solely with a view to convenience, and with no 
idea that it would become a battlefield. General Price occu- 
pied a position on the main road, about one mile in advance 
of McCulloch's division ; the Louisianians and one or two 
Arkansas regiments being on his left, and being well 
posted. The Texian regiment occupied position in extreme 
rear, and were camped on Wilson's Creek; Churchill occu- 
pied position about three hundred yards in front, in a grove. 

As an imperative step to unity of purpose and concert of 
action, General Price had on Saturday, the 4th instant, 
placed, temporarily, the Missouri forces under the orders of 
General McCulloch ; and it is to be regretted that so neces- 
sary a step could not have been consummated without asper 
ity on the part of the gallant Missourians, who, heroes upon 
the field, could not master their prejudices, nor brook to see 
their noble old chief occupy a second position to any one upon 
the soil of Missouri. But of this more in an6ther place. 

On Friday, the 9th instant, General McCulloch issued 
orders for the advance upon Springfield to commence at 
8 p. m., in three divisions, with the object of attacking the 
town on as many sides simultaneously ; but as the aspect of 
the heavens presaged a coming storm the order was coun- 
termanded, — the men being directed, however, to " lie on 
their arms " — a precaution which unquestionably contributed 
much to the efforts of die allied armies. General Lyon had 
formed almost the same plan of attack, and put it in execu- 
tion about the identical hour originally designated by Gen- 
eral McCulloch ; with the difference, however, that the 
former was not deterred by the threatened storm. Conse- 
quently, General Sigel moved by a circuitous route, turning 
the southern left flank and gaining their rear, while General 
Lyon leisurely advanced his main force against the position 
of General Price. 

The surprise on the part of the rear of the southern army 



138 THE LIFE AND SERVICES 

was complete ; and the first warning that the Texians had of 
the proximity of the enemy was the booming of Sigel's 
guns, planted some three hundred yards in the rear, and the 
screeching of the shells which passed harmlessly over their 
camp to fall and explode in that of Churchill's regiment, 
much to the dismay and discomfiture of his men and horses. 
With the first gun proclaiming General Sigel in position, 
General Lyon furiously attacked the lines of Price, who 
being warned, however, by General Rains in time, of the 
threatened attack, succeeded in making a judicious disposi- 
tion of his troops, and met the Federal onslaught with firm- 
ness and determination. The Federal battery of Captain 
Totten opened furiously on the Confederate position, and 
General McCulloch hastened to place the guns of Captain 
Woodruff in position to reply ; and soon the furious artillery 
duel was in progress between these batteries, which con- 
tinued throughout the action, — both being served with excep- 
tional skill and courage. The various Confederate regi- 
ments quickly formed ; all being more or less in confusion. 

There is no question of the fact that General McCulloch 
was the only man on that portion of the field that grasped the 
situation of affairs at a glance, and who possessed an intelli- 
gent idea of the progress of the battle from the start. Regi- 
mental commanders seemed confused by the surprise, and 
dazed by the storm of battle ; but the directing care of Gen- 
eral McCulloch supervised every detail, and brought har- 
mony out of confusion. 

General McCulloch had risen from a cheerless bivouac 
with the first streaks of light in the east, and ridden to the 
headquarters of General Price. He -joined that officer and 
his staff at breakfast ; and the party were thus engaged when 
a courier from General Rains dashed up with the startling 
announcement that the enemy was advancing in force ; and 
he was followed by another in a very few moments, report- 
ing the enemy in Rains' immediate front. General Price at 
once ordered his horse saddled, and his troops into line. 
McCulloch could not believe the report, as he had person- 
ally the night previous designated a company of Missourians 
who lived in the vicinity, and who were of course acquainted 
with the country, as the guard to be picketed on the Spring- 



OF GEN BEN McCULLOCH. 139 

field road ; and the duty of stationing the videttes had been 
performed by his adjutant-general, the thoroughly compe- 
tent Mcintosh. 

This guard had been withdrawn during the night without 
his knowledge, thus leaving the road open to the advance of 
General Lyon, and rendering the surprise of the southern 
camp of easy performance ; — and though he was wrongfully 
accused of having neglected to station a picket guard, he 
remained silent in his official report of the battle in regard to 
this criminal act of insubordination, in the interest of har- 
mony and the general good, at the expense of his own dis- 
paragement. But when other lying charges was heaped 
upon this until the mass had attained to elephantine propor- 
tions, he filed with the Secretary of War a full report of his 
conduct in that connection, and which will be found at the 
conclusion of the narrative proper of his life. 

The party of officers rose from the breakfast table, 
" and," says Colonel Snead, " looked up from the cow yard, 
in which General Price's camp was pitched, to where the 
hills were rising, line on line above them, and on the clear 
morning perspective they saw Totten's battery unlimbered 
on the top of a hill, less than three quarters of a mile distant ; 
and before he had thrown the first shot, Sigel's battery in 
the rear also pealed out, and the balls crossed each other 
right over the hollow in which Prices troops were lying." 

McCulloch hastened to his own division, and as before 
stated, brought order out of confusion. His cool, calm and 
unruffled demeanor, and silent, busy, serious air, now recurs 
to the mind's eye of the writer as he appeared on that field 
twenty-two years ago ; his hair combed so as to fall over and 
back of the ears ; dressed in the plain garb of a citizen ; a 
Marsh rifle in lieu of a sabre, swinging at his side. His 
orders were given in a low, calm voice. Seeing the attempt 
of Sigel to execute a flank movement, he pointed it out to 
Colonel Greer, and saying: "Form in column of platoons, 
and drive them in;" a move quickly executed by the Tex- 
ians. 

Wherever he appeared Louisianians, Arkansians, Tex- 
ians and Missourians temporarily attached to his division, 
greeted him with enthusiastic cheers, which made the wel- 



HO THE LIFE AND SER VICES 

kin ring far above the thunders of the battle, and spoke in a 
manner impossible to be misunderstood, the confidence 
which the men had for their general. McCulloch was liter- 
ally everywhere ; he trusted nothing to others ; and exposed 
his person to the fire of the enemy with a reckless temerity 
which he would have rebuked in one of his men. 

Immediately the battery was placed in position, he gal- 
loped furiously up to the Louisiana regiment, exclaiming: — 

" Colonel, lead your men out !" 

As the regiment deployed into position a puff of smoke 
arose from a clump of trees to the northwest, followed by 
another, and accompanied by the angry scream of shot. 
The line was formed on the edge of a corn field, in front of 
a column of United States Regulars, and the musketry firing 
between the two opposing lines was deafening, and the exe- 
cution considerable. The enemy were posted behind a rail 
fence, which gave them a great advantage ; seeing which, Colo- 
nel Mcintosh galloped to the front of the regiment exclaim- 
ing:— 

" Upi g a tt an t Louisianians, and charge them I " 

The men responded with a tremendous yell, and led by 
the intrepid Mcintosh, drove the enemy from his position in 
confusion and much loss. The beaten enemy sought refuge 
behind Totten's battery, which immediately concentrated its 
fire on the Louisianians. The discharges of canister and 
shell were so furious that the men were withdrawn to the 
partial protection of a ravine just in the rear ; — when Gen- 
eral McCulloch rode up to the right of the line, saying: — 

" Come, my brave lads, I have a battery for you to charge 
and the day is ours ! " 

Says Mr. Tunnard: — 

"The regiment at this moment was very much disorgan- 
ized ; the men, however, followed the leadership of their 
brave general with steady, regular tread along the valley, 
crossing the base of the hill, over the creek, where the road 
took an abrupt turn to the west, and ascended a precipitous, 
rocky hill, to the left of which was posted Sigel's battery. 
At the creek numbers momentarily halted to gulp down a 
few mouthfuls of water to quench their burning thirst. It 
mattered little to them that it was filthy and loathsome, that 



OF GEN BEN Mc CULL O CH. I4T 

it was red with blood and blackened men lined its banks and 
bathed their burning limbs and torturing, ghastly wounds in 
its waters. 

After crossing the creek the general halted at intervals 
while in point blank range of the battery, and taking a sur- 
vey through his glass, would coollv turn in his saddle, wave 
his hand and say: " Come on, boys /" 

His actions and features were a study for the closest scru- 
tinize!* of physiognomy. Not a quiver on his face, not the 
movement of a muscle to betray anxiety or emotion. Only 
his blue eye flashed out from beneath the shaggy brows, a 
glittering, penetrating, scrutinizing glance. As the men 
reached the protection of the hill on which the battery was 
stationed, and ere an order had been given, a man stepped 
from behind the shelter of a huge oak on the summit. The 
general abruptly halted, and inquired in a calm, clear tone : — 

"Whose forces are those?" The reply came in a dis- 
tinct voice : 

"Sigefs!" 

" Whose, did you say?" 

"Union ! Sigel's !" at the same time raising his rifle 
with deliberate aim to fire ; but ere his purpose was accom- 
plished the sharp crack of a Mississippi rifle proclaimed the 
flight of a death messenger on its fearful errand, and the Fed- 
eral dropped heavy to the ground without a groan. 

The general turned to Corporal Henry Gentles, who fired 
the shot, and said : — 

" That was a good shot ! " 

The remark was characteristic of his coolness under the 
most trying and perilous circumstances. He then turned to 
Captain Viglini, standing near, and said: — 

" Captain, take your men up and give it to them ! " 

The men scaled the rocky hillside and came abruptly 
upon the enemy's guns. With loud huzzahs they rushed 
upon the battery, sweeping it at the point of the bayonet ere 
the amazed foe could recover from their astonishment. They 
fled into a cornfield and along the road in the rear of theii 
lost battery, with the victors in close pursuit. In the field 
upwards of 200 were killed and wounded, so close and 
deadly was the fire poured into their retreating columns. 



142 THE LIFE AND SER VICES 

This gallant charge resulted in the capture of three 
twelve-pounder howitzers and two six-pounder field guns. 
Here fell Captain Hinson, of Company B, and his brother- 
in-law, Mr. Whitstone, — killed by an unfortunate shot from 
one of our own batteries in charge of Captain Reed, which, 
unknown to us, had been pouring a steady and destructive 
fire on these guns. 

Sigel's routed regiments were now flying in a panic of 
fright and demoralization. General McCulloch directed 
Capt. H. P. Mabry, at the head of two companies of Tex- 
ians, to push the fugitives, which he did, capturing their 
remaining gun and making many prisoners. At this 
point Colonel Snead galloped up with a message from Gen- 
eral Price to the effect that he was sorely presssed and 
that his line could not remain intact against the furious 
assaults of Lyon's large force, and the concentrated fire 
of Totten's battery, unless re-inforcements speedily reached 
him. 

General Lyon, with that intuition born of genius, read in 
the sound of battle in the Confederate rear the intelligence 
of Sigel's discomfiture ; and realizing that his only hope of 
success was in crushing Price before McCulloch could trans- 
fer his regiments to the threatened point, was hurling his 
men violently against the indomitable Missourians, who, 
under their grizzly bears, seemed rooted to the soil, and 
poured into the charging Federals a destructive leaden hail 
from their shot guns and squirrel. rifles. General McCulloch 
at once responded to the appeal and hastened his men at 
44 double quick " to Price's line. He formed the regiments of 
Hebert and Mcintosh to attack in front the already advanc- 
ing Union line, led by their intrepid general in person, wav- 
ing his hat encouragingly in the air ; while the regiments of 
Greer and Churchill were ordered to charge the flank. Lyon 
fell in this close, deadly grapple with McCulloch ; and his 
men, bereft of his stern, courageous spirit, withdrew the guns, 
and commenced a hasty retreat from that fatal field. 



of gen ben Mcculloch. 143 

official reports. 



Headquarters Third Reg. Louisiana Infantry, ) 
Camp at Wilson Creek, Mo., Aug. 12, 1861. ) 
General Ben McCulloch Commanding Confederate Army: 

Sir — I have the honor to report the part that my regi- 
ment took in the battle of Oak Hills, on Saturday the 10th 
instant. Aroused by yourself early in the morning, I formed 
my regiment and following the direction of Capt. James 
Mcintosh, adjutant-general, followed the Springfield road 
a short distance to a narrow by-road flanked on both sides by 
thick underbrush, and on one side by a rail fence. This 
road led to a cornfield. At the moment of deploying into 
line of battle, and when only two companies had reached 
their positions, the enemy opened fire upon our front at a 
distance of five paces. Deploying the other companies, an 
advance was ordered, led gallantly by Captain Mcintosh, to 
whom I owe all thanks for assistance. 

The enemy posted behind a fence in the cornfield. The 
companies moved up bravely, broke the 3nemy, pursued 
them gallantly into the field and routed u)em completely. 
On emerging from the field the regiment found themselves 
on a naked oat field, where a battery on the left opened on 
us a severe fire. The order was given to fall back to a 
woo ded ground higher up to the right. The order was 
obeyed, but by some misunderstanding the right of the regi- 
ment and some of the left were separated from the left and 
found themselves under the command of Lieutenant-Colonel 
Hyams, who there received your order to march to attack 
Sigel's battery, and command on the left of the field of battle. 

His report is herewith transmitted, giving an account of 
the operations of his batallion up to the time of my joining 
him. I remained myself near the above named cornfield, rally- 
ing and reforming the left into a detachment of some one hun- 
dred men. I then advanced toward Totten's battery, and 
took position some five hundred yards from the battery, 
where I remained in front of the enemy's line some thirty 
minutes, when, falling back, I again rallied some stray por- 
tions of the regiment and marched by orders to join the right 
wing on the left of the field. This I did: and having 
reformed the regiment, I received orders to move so as to 
place myself in the rear of the enemy's battery, then closely 
engaged in front. Although moving as expeditiously as pos- 
sible, I did not reach the proper position until Totten's bat- 
tery had been withdrawn from the field. Some of the enemy 
still remained on a hill and in a ravine. I, however, hesi- 
tated to attack, having discovered a force immediately in my 



1U the LIFE AND SERVICES 

rear, whom I did not ascertain to be friends for some twenty 
minutes. I then ordered the advance, attacked the enemy, 
and put them to flight. In this the regiment was very gal- 
lantly assisted by a detachment of Missourians and others, 
whom I then supposed to be under the immediate command 
of Captain Johnson. This flight ended the engagement of 
my regiment for the day. The regiment was formed on the 
lull previously occupied by the enemy, and, by orders, was 
inarched back to their camp. 

The first of the engagement of the regiment commenced 
at 6:30 a. m. and ended at 1:30 p. m., when the enemy 
made their final retreat. I transmit a list of- the killed and 
wounded, recapitulating as follows: — 

Killed, one commissioned officer, one non commissioned 
officer, seven privates ; total killed nine, wounded three com- 
missioned officers ; six non commissioned officers, and thirty- 
nine privates ; total forty-eight ; missing, three privates. 

Proud of the manner in which my regiment behaved in 
their first fight against the enemy of our Confederate States 
(a fight in which officers and men displayed endurance, brav- 
ery and determination) it is difficult for me to particularize 
the services of officers and men. I will, however, bring the 
attention of the commanding general to some cases. The 
whole of my staff acted with great coolness and bravery ; 
the lieutenant-colonel leading a battalion, in my absence, 
against Sigel's battery and the major assisting constantly in 
the rear wing. 

Capt. Theodore Johnston, quartermaster, was of invalu- 
able service in transmitting orders, rallying the men, and 
encouraging them to stand by their colors, often exposing 
himself to the fire of the enemy. Adjutant S. M. Hyams, 
Jr., left his horse and bravely fought on foot. Capt. Thomas 
L. Maxwell, commissary, followed the regiment in battle 

and assisted much in rallying the men. 

*## ### ##* *** *** ### 

[Signed] Louis Hebert, Colonel Commanding. 

Though not strictly germain to a biography of General 
McCulloch, the official report of General Price is presented 
as a matter of justice to the noble Missourians, who are 
worthy of all praise: — 

Headquarters Missouri State Guard, 
Springfield, Aug. 12, 1861. 

7b his Excellency, Claiburne E . Jackson, Governor of the 
State of Missouri : 
I have the honor to submit to your excellency the fol- 



OF GEN. BEN McCULLOCH. 145 

lowing report of the operations of the army under my com- 
mand, at and immediately preceding the battle of Spring- 
field. 

I began to move my command from its encampment on 
Cow Skin prairie in McDonald county, on the 25th of July, 
toward Cassville, in Barry county, at which place it had 
been agreed between Generals Pearce, McCulloch and 
myself, that our respective forces, together with those of 
Brigadier-General McBride, should be concentrated prepara- 
tory to a forward movement. We reached Cassville on Sun- 
day, the 28th of July, and on the next day effected a junction 
with armies of Generals McCulloch and Pearce. 

The combined armies were then put under marching 
orders, and the first division, General McCulloch command- 
ing, left Cassville on the 1st of July on the road for this city. 
The second division under General Pearce, of Arkansas, 
left on the 1st day of August; and the third division under 
Brigadier-General Steen, of this state, commanding, left on 
the 2d day of August. I went forward with the second 
division, which embraced the greater part of my infantry, 
and encamped with it some twelve miles north of Cassville. 
The next morning a messenger from General McCulloch 
informed me that he had reason to believe that the enemy 
were in force on the road to Springfield, and that he should 
remain in his then encampment on the Cane Creek until the 
second and third divisions of the army came up. The sec- 
ond division consequently moved forward to Cane Creek, 
and I ordered the third division to within three miles of the 
same place. 

The advance guard of the army consisted of six compa- 
nies of mounted Missourians, under command of Brigadier- 
General Rains, were at that time (Friday, August 2d) 
encamped on the Springfield road about five miles beyond 
Cane Creek. About 9 o'clock a. m. of that day General 
Rains' pickets reported to him that they had been driven in 
by the enemy's advanced guard, and that officer immediately 
led forward his whole force, amounting to nearly four hun- 
dred men, until he found the enemy in position, some three 
miles on the road. He sent back at once to General McCul- 
loch for re-inforcements, and Colonel Mcintosh, C. S. A., 
was sent forward with 150 men ; but a reconnoissance of the 
ground having satisfied the latter that the enemy did not 
have over 150 men on the ground, he withdrew his men and 
returned to Cane creek. General Rains soon discovered, 
however, that he was in the presence of the main body of 
the enemy, numbering according to his estimate more than 
5,000 men, with eight pieces of artillery, and supported by 



146 THE LIEE AND SERVICES 

a considerable body of cavalry. A severe skirmish ensued, 
which lasted several hours, until the enemy opened with 
their batteries and compelled our troops to retire. In thi9 
engagement the greater portion of General Rains' command, 
and especially that part which acted as infantry, behaved 
with great gallantry, as the result demonstrates ; for our loss 
was only one killed (Lieutenant Northcut) and five wounded, 
while five of the enemy's dead were buried on the field, and 
a large number are known to have been wounded. Our 
whole force was concentrated the next day near.Cane creek, 
and during the same night the Texian regiment, under Colonel 
Greer, came up within a few miles of the same place. 

Reasons which will hereafter be assigned induced me 
on Sunday, 4th instant, to put the Missouri forces, for the 
time being, under the direction of General McCulloch, who 
accordingly assumed command-in-chief of the combined 
armies. 

A little after midnight we took up the line of march, 
leaving our baggage trains, and expecting to find the enemy 
near the scene of the late skirmish ; but we found, as we 
advanced, that they were retreating rapidly toward Spring- 
field. We followed them hastily about seventeen miles to a 
place known as Moody's Spring, where we were compelled 
to halt our forces, who were already nearly exhausted by the 
intense heat and dust. Early the next morning we moved 
forward to Wilson's creek, ten miles southwest of Spring- 
field, where we encamped. Our forces were here put in 
readiness to meet the enemy, who were posted at Springfield 
to about the number of 10,000. It was finally decided to 
march against them ; and on Friday afternoon orders were 
issued to march in four separate columns at 9 o'clock that 
night, so as to surround the city and commence a simultane- 
ous attack at daybreak. The darkness of the night and a 
threatened storm caused General McCulloch, just as the 
army was about to march, to countermand the orojer, and to 
direct that the troops should hold themselves in readiness to 
move whenever ordered. Our men were consequently kept 
under arms till toward davbreak, expecting momentarily an 
order to march. 

The morning of Saturday, August 10th, found them still 
encamped at Wilson's creek, fatigued by a night's watching, 
and want of rest. About 6 o'clock, I received a messenger 
from General Rains that the enemy were advancing in great 
force from the direction of Springfield, and were already 
within 200 or 300 yards of his position where he was 
encamped with the second brigade of his division, consisting 
of about 1,200 mounted men under Colonel Cawthorn. A 
second messenger came immediately afterward from General 



OF GEN. BEN McCULLOCIl. U7 

Rains to announce that the main body of the enemy were 
upon him, but that he would endeavor to hold them in check 
until he could receive re-inforcements. General McCulloch 
was with me when these messengers came, and left at once 
for his own headquarters to make the necessary disposition 
of our forces. I rode forward instantly toward General 
Rains' position, at the same time ordering Generals Slack, 
McBride, Clark and Parsons to move their infantry and artil- 
lery rapidly forward. I had ridden but a few hundred yards 
when I came suddenly upon the main body of the enemy, 
commanded by General Lyon in person. The infantry and 
artillery which I had ordered to follow me came up immedi- 
ately to the number of 2,036 men, and engaged the enemy. 

A severe and bloody conflict ensued, my officers and 
men behaving with the greatest bravery, and, with the assist- 
ance of a portion of the Confederate forces, successfully 
holding the enemy in check. Meantime, and almost simul- 
taneously with the opening of the enemy's batteries in this 
quarter, a heavy cannonading was opened upon the rear of 
our position, where a lars^e body of the enemy, under Colo- 
nel Sigel, had taken position in close proximity to Colonel 
Churchill's regiment, Colonel Greer's Texian Rangers and 
679 mounted Missourians, under the command of Colonel 
Brown and Lieutenant-Colonel Major. The action now 
became general, and was conducted with the greatest gal- 
lantry and vigor on both sides for more than five hours, 
when the enemy retreated in great confusion, leaving their 
commander-in-chief dead upon the battlefield, over 500 
killed and a great number wounded. 

The forces under my command have possession of three 
twelve-pounder howitzers, two bras« six-pounders and a 
great quantity of small arms and ammunition, taken from 
the enemy ; also the standard of Sigel's regiment, captured 
by Captain Staples ; also a large number of prisoners. The 
brilliant victory thus achieved upon this hard fought field 
was won only by the most determined bravery and distin- 
guished gallantry of the combined armies, which fought 
nobly side by side in defense of their common rights and lib- 
erties with as much courage and constancy as were ever 
exhibited upon any battle-field. Where all behaved so well 
it is invidious to make any distinction, but I cannot refrain 
from expressing my sense of the splendid service rendered r 
under my own eye, of the Arkansas Infantry, under General 
Pearce ; the Louisiania Regiment, under Colonel Hebert r 
and Colonel Churchill's Regiment of mounted riflemen^ 
These gallant officers and their brave soldiers won upon that 
day the lasting gratitude of e\ ery true Missouriam 
This great victory was dearly bought by the blood of many 



M3 THE LIFE AND SHKVW&S 

a skillful officer and brave man. Others will report the 
losses sustained in the Confederate forces. I shall willingly 
confine myself to the losses within my own army. 

Among those who fell mortally wounded on the battle- 
field, none deserve a dearer place in the memory of the 
Missourians than Richard Hanson Weightman, colonel com- 
manding the First Brigade of the 2d division of the army. 
Taking up arms at the very beginning of tne unhappy con- 
test, he had already done distinguished service at the battle 
of Rock Creek, where he commanded the state forces after 
the death of the lamented Holloway ; and at Carthage, where 
he won unfading laurels by the display of extraordinary cool- 
ness, courage and skill. He fell at the head of his brigade, 
wounded in three places, and died just as the victorious 
shouts of our army began to rise on the air. 

Here, too, died in the discharge of his duty, Colonel Ben- 
jamin Brown, of Ray county, president of the senate, a good 
man and true. 

Brigadier-General Slack's division suffered severely. He 
himself fell dangerously wounded, at the head of his column 
Of his regiment of infantry, under Col. John T. Hughes, 
consisting of about 650 men, thirty-six were killed, seventy- 
six wounded, many of them mortally, and thirty are missing. 
Among the killed were C. H. Bennet, adjutant of the regi- 
ment, Captain Blackwell and Lieutenant Hughes, Colonel 
Rives' suadron of cavalry, (dismounted) uumqering 234 
men, lost four killed and eight wounded. Among the former 
were Lieutenant-Colonel Austin and Captain Engart. 

Brigadier-General Clark was also wounded. His infan- 
try — 290 men — lost in killed seventeen, wounded seventy- 
one. Colonel Burbridge was severely wounded ; Captains 
F arris and Halleck and Lieutenant Hoskins were killed. 
General Clark's cavalry, together with the Widsor Guards, 
were under the command of Lieutenant-Colonel Major, who 
did good service. They lost six killed, and five wounded. 

Brigadier-General McBride's division, 605 men, lost 
twenty-two killed, sixty-seven severely wounded and fifty- 
seven slightly wounded. Colonel Foster and Captains Nich- 
ols, Dougherty, Armstrong and Mings were wounded while 
gallantly leading their respective commands. 

General Parsons' brigade, 256 infantry and artillery, 
under command respectively of Colonel Kelly and Captain 
Guiber, and 406 cavalry. Colonel Brown, lost — the artil- 
lery, three killed and seven wounded ; the infantry, nine killed 
and thirty-eight wounded ; the cavalry, three killed and two 
wounded. Colonel Kelly was wounded in the hand. Cap- 
tain Coleman was mortally wounded and has since died. 

General Rains' division was composed of two brigades — 



OF GEN BEN McCULLOCH. 1» 

the first under Colonel Weightman, embracing infantry 
and artillery, 1,306 strong, lost not only their commander, 
but 34 others killed, and in wounded. The 2d brigade, 
mounted men, Colonel Cawthorn commanding, about 1,200 
strong, lost 21 killed and 75 wounded. Colonel Cawthorn 
was himself wounded. Major Charles Rogers, of St. Louis, 
adjutant of the brigade, was mortally wounded and died the 
day after the battle. He was a gallant officer, at all times 
vigilant and attentive to his duties, and fearless upon the 
field of battle. 

Your Excellency will perceiv.e that our state forces con- 
sisted of only 5,221 officers and men ; that of these no less 
than 156 died upon the field, while 517 were wounded. 
These facts attest more powerfully than any words can, the 
severity of the conflict, and the dauntless courage of our 
brave soldiers. 

It is also my painful duty to announce the death of one of 
my aids, Lieut. -Col. Geo. W. Allen, of Saline county, who 
was shot down while communicating an order, and we left 
him buried on the field. I have appointed to the position' 
thus sadly vacated, Captain James Cearnal, in recognition of 
his gallant conduct and valuable services throughout the bat- 
tle as a volunteer aid. Another of my staff, Colonel Horace 
F. Brand, was made prisoner, but has since been released. 

My thanks are due to three of your staff, Colonel Wm. M. 
Cooke, Colonel Richard Gaines and Colonel Thomas L. 
Snead, for services which they rendered me as volunteer 
aids, and also to my aid-de-camp, Colonel A. W. Jones. 

In conclusion, I beg leave to say toyour Excellency that the 
army under my command, both officers and men, did their 
duty nobly as becomes men fighting in defence of their 
homes and their honor, and that they deserve well of the 
state. I have the honor to be, with great respect, 

Sterling Price. 
Maj.-Gen. Commading Mo. State Guard. 

Mention has been incidentally made of the jealousy and 
wrangling on the part of the Confederate and Missouri 
troops because of rumored differences between General 
McCulloch and General Price ; and the foregoing report of the 
latter, though fair and impartial in the main, furnished not a 
few texts to the disgruntled. 

It was currently reported that General Price had boasted 
of achieving a splendid victory with the aid of a few Con- 
federate troops ; whereas he said nothing of the kind, but 
paid lull acknowledgment to all. Again, the Texians at- 



150 "/ME LIFE AND SERVICES 

tributed the failure of General Price to notice their services 
at all to the fact that they were immediate compatriots of 
General McCulloch. And yet another cause of dissatisfac- 
tion was found in the statement of the artillery captured ; the 
Louisianians alleging that the guns catalogued in General 
Price's official report were the identical ones captured by that 
regiment ; and that if General Price failed to notice the Tex- 
ians because they were not of his army, he should upon the 
same grounds have abstained from seeking to appropriate 
the fruits of the services of'Confederate commands. 

It is not possible that a man of Ge neral Price's heroic 
mould could be instigated to the commission of such infini- 
tesimal acts as these ! and it is certain, the foregoing charges 
to the contrary notwithstanding, that the General aimed to do 
right, and doubtless from his standpoint did do so. The re- 
criminations on the part of the Missourians against the Con- 
federates were fully as numerous and serious, and it will al- 
ways remain a mystery how two wrangling mobs achieved a 
victory over an army but little inferior in point of numbers, 
and vastly superior in drill, discipline, arms and all the nec- 
essaries of active campaigning, — to say nothing of the sur- 
prise and confusion into which the Confederate camp was 
thrown. Price and McCulloch were the towers of Southern 
strength on that field ; and it is to their individual efforts 
more than to any other cause, that the victory is to be attrib- 
uted. McCulloch rallied his confused division and led them 
to the attack. He crushed Sigel at once, and then hastened 
with his regiments to the assista nee of the closely pressed 
Missourians. Few men have ever acquitted themselves of a 
more delicate trust, imposing the very weightiest responsibil- 
ities, with greater credit to themselves than Gen. Ben McCul- 
loch did on the field of Oak HiLs, with which victory his 
name and his fame are indissolubly wedded. Studied misrep- 
resentation has failed in its malign mission, and posterity will 
yet measure the fame of McCulloch in a mould of heroic 
proportions. 



OF GEN. BEN Me CULLO CIL 15 1 



ben m'culloch's report. 

Headquarters McCueloch's Brigade, ) 
Camp Weightman, Aug. 12, 1861. j 

Brigadier General J. Cooper, Adjutant- General C. S. A. 

General: — I have the honor to make the following offi- 
cial report of the battle of "Oak Hills" on the 10th inst. 
Having taken position about ten miles from Springfield, I 
endeavored to gain the necessary information of the strength 
and position of the enemy stationed in and about that town. 
The information was very conflicting and unsatisfactory. I, 
however, made up my mind to attack the enemy in their posi- 
tion, and issued orders on the 9th inst. to my forces to start 
at 9 o'clock at night, to attack at four different points at day- 
break. A few days before, General Price, in command of 
the Missouri forces, turned over his command to me, and I 
assumed command of the entire force, comprising my own 
brigade, the brigade of Arkansas state troops under Gen- 
eral Pearce, and General Price's command of Missourians. 
My effective force was 5,300 infantry, fifteen pieces of artil- 
lery and 6,000 horsemen, armed with flint-lock muskets, rifles 
and shot guns. There were other horsemen with the army 
who were entirely unarmed, and instead of being a help 
were continually in the way. When the time arrived for the 
night march it began to rain slightly, and fearing for the want 
of cartridge boxes my amunition would be ruined, I 
ordered the movement to be stopped, hoping to move the 
next morning. 

My men had but twenty-five rounds of cartridges, and no 
more to be had. While still hesitating in the morning, the 
enemy was reported advancing, and I made arrangements to 
meet him. The attack was made simultaneously at half past 
5 a. m. on our right and left flanks, and the enemy had gained 
the position they desired. General Lyons attacked us on our 
left and General Sigel on our right and rear. From these 
points batteries opened on us. My command was soon 
ready. The Missourians under Generals Slack, Clark, Mc- 
Biide, Parsons and Rains, were nearest to the position taken 
by General Lyons with his main force ; they were instantly 
turned to the left and opened the battle with an incessant fire 
of small arms. Woodruff opposed his batteries to that of 
Totten's and a constant cannonading was kept up between 
these batteries during the engagement. Hebert's regiment 
of Louisiana volunteers and Mcintosh's regiment of Arkan- 
sas mounted riflemen were ordered to the front, and 
after passing Totten's battery turned to the left and soon 
engaged the enemy with the regiments deployed. ColoneL 



152 TH E LIFE AND SERVICES 

Mcintosh dismounted his regiments and the two marched up 
abreast to a fence around a large cornfield, where they 
encountered the enemy's left already posted. A terrible 
conflict of small arms took place here ; the opposing force 
being a body of regulars — U. S. infantry commanded by 
Captains Plummer and Gilbert. Notwithstanding the gall- 
ing fire poured on these two regiments, they leaped over the 
fence and, gallantly led by their Colonels, drove the enemy 
before them back upon the main line. During this time the 
Missourians under General Price were nobly attempting to 
sustain themselves in the centre, and were hotly engaged on 
the sides of the heights upon which the enemy was posted.' 
Far on the right Sigel had opened his battery on the regi- 
ments of Churchill and Greer and had gradually made his 
way to the Springfield road, upon each side of which the 
army was encamped, and established his battery in a com- 
manding position. I at once took two companies of the 
Louisiana regiment, which were nearest me, and marched 
them at double-quick from the right front to the rear, leaving 
instructions for Colonel Mcintosh to bring up the rest. 
When we arrived near the battery, we discovered that Reid's 
battery had opened on it, and that the Federal artillery were 
already in some confusion. Advantage was taken of this 
and soon the Louisianians were gallantly charging among 
the guns, and sweeping the cannoneers away. Five guns 
were here taken and Sigel's command completely routed. 
They fled with a single gun, followed by some companies of 
the Texian regiment and a portion of Colonel Major's Mis- 
souri cavalry. In the pursuit many of the enemy were killed 
and taken prisoners, and their last gun captured. 

Having cleared our right and rear it was necessary to 
turn all our attention to the centre, under General Lyon, who 
was pressing upon the Missourians and driving them back. 
To this point Mcintosh's regiment, under Lieutenant-Colo- 
nel Embry, and Churchill's regiment, on foot, and Gratiot's 
regiment and McRae's battalion, were dispatched to their 
aid. The terrible fire of musketry was now kept up along 
the whole side and top of the hill upon which the enemy was 
posted. Masses of infantry fell back and again rushed for- 
ward. The summit of the hill was covered with the dead 
and wounded — both sides were fighting with desperation for 
the day. 

Carroll's and Greer's regiments, led gallantly by Captain 
Bradfute, charged the battery, but the whole strength of the 
enemy was immediately in its rear, and a deadly fire was 
opened upon them. At this critical period, when the for- 
tnnes of the day seemed to be at the turning point, two regi- 
ments of General Pearce's brigade were ordered to march 



OF GEN. BEN McCULLOCH. l r 3 

from their position (as reserves) to support the centre. The 
order was obeyed with alacrity, and General Pearce gal- 
lantly rushed with his brigade to the rescue. Reid's battery 
was also ordered to move forward, and the Louisiana regi- 
ment was again called into action on the left of it. The bat- 
tle then became general, and probably no two opposing 
forces ever fought with greater desperation. Inch by inch the 
enemy gave way and were driven from their position. Tot- 
ten's battery fell back. Missourians, Arkansians, Louisian- 
ians and Texians pushed forward. The incessant roll of 
musketry was deafening, and the balls fell as thick as hail 
stones ; but still our gallant Southerners pushed on and with 
one wild veil broke upon the enemy, driving them back, and 
strewing the ground with their dead. Nothing could with- 
stand the impetuosity of our final charge ; the enemy fled 
and could not be rallied again, and they were last seen 
retreating among the hills in the distance. The battle lasted 
six hours and a half. The force of the enemy, between 
nine and ten thousand, was composed of well disciplined 
troops, wel] armed and a great proportion of them being 
regulars. With every advantage on their side they have met 
with a signal defeat ; their loss being at least Soo killed, 
1,000 wounded and 300 prisoners. We captured six pieces 
of artillery and several hundred standi of small arms and a 
number of their standards. 

Major-General Lyon, chief in command, was killed. 
Many of the superior officers were wounded. Our loss was 
also severe, and we mourn the death of many a gallant 
officer and soldier. Our killed amounts to 265, our wounded 
Soo, and 30 missing. Colonel Weightman fell at the head of 
his brigade of Missourians while gallantly charging upon the 
enemy. His place cannot be easily filled. 

Generals Slack and Clark, of Missouri, were severely 
wounded; General Price slightly. Captain Hinson, of the 
Louisiana regiment, Captain McAlexander, of Churchill's 
regiment, Captains Bell and Brown, of Pearce's brigade, 
Lieutenants Walton and Weaver — all fell while nobly and 
gallantly doing their duty. Colonel Mcintosh was slightly 
wounded bv a grape shot while charging with the Louisiana 
regiment; Lieutenant-Colonel Neal, Major H. Ward, Cap- 
tains King, Pearsons, Gibbs, Ramseur, Porter, Lieutenants 
Dawson, Chambers, Johnson, King, Adams, Hardista, 
Mclvor and Saddler were wounded. Where all were per- 
forming the duties so nobly, it would be unfair to discrimi- 
nate. 

I must, however, bring to your notice the gallant conduct 
of the Missouri Generals, McBride, Clark, Parsons and 
Slack, and their officers. To General Price I am under 



154 TUB LIFE AND SERVICES 

many obligations for assistance on the battle field. He was 
at the head of his force, leading them on and sustaining them 
by his gallant bearing. General Pearce with his Arkansas 
brigade (Gratiot's, Walker's and Dockery's regiments of 
infantry) came gallantly to the rescue when called, leading 
his men into the thickest of the fight and contributing much 
to the success of the day. 

The commanders of regiments of my own brigade, Colo- 
nels Churchill, Greer, Embry, Mcintosh, Hebert and McRae 
led their different regiments into action with great coolness 
and bravery, and were always in front of their men and 
cheering them on. Woodruff and Reid managed their bat- 
teries with great ability and did much execution. 

To my personal staff I am much indebted for the cool- 
ness and rapidity with which they bore my commands. 
Special attention is called to my volunteer aids, Captain Bled- 
soe, Messrs. F. W. Armstrong, Ben Johnson (whose horse 
was killed under him), Hamilton Pike and Major King. To 
Major Montgomery, Quartermasier, I am indebted for val- 
uable services rendered during the battle. To Colonel 
Mcintosh, whether leading his regiment or acting in his 
capacity as assistant adjutant-general, I cannot give too 
much praise. Wherever the bullets flew he was gallantly 
leading different regiments into action, and his presence gave 
confidence everywhere. For those officers and men who 
were particularly conspicuous, reference is made to the 
reports of the different commanders. I have the honor to 
be, sir, your obedient servant, Ben McCulloch, 

Brigadier-General commanding. 



Little Rock, Arkansas, ) 
May 20, 1861. j 
Hon. L. P. Walker, Secretary of War, Montgomery. 

Ala.: — 

Sir — I have the honor to make the following statement 
in reference to military matters in this state for your informa- 
tion : — 

Since my arrival here I have ascertained that although a 
large amount of arms and munitions of war was secured by 
the capture of the arsenal of this place, there is now but a 
small amount left. At the present time there are only 2,260 
flint lock muskets (new), 60 percussion muskets and 160 
Hall's rifles. The ammunition for small arms consists of 
250,000 musket ball cartridges, 40,000 Colt's pistol car- 
tridges, 2,000 Sharp's carbine cartridges and 520,000 per- 
cussion caps ; also, S6 barrels of musket and 30 barrels of 
rifle powder. All the other arms and munitions of war 



OF GEN. BEN McCULLOCIL 155 

seized here riave been scattered over the state in every direc- 
tion, without any method or accountability and it is impossi- 
ble to tell what has become of them. Very few arms suit- 
able for cavalry service were found in the arsenal, and the 
regiment of mounted men you have authorized me to take 
from the state will be very destitute of arms suitable for ser- 
vice. I would therefore respectfully call your attention to 
the necessity of at once forwarding to Fort Smith a sufficient 
supply of rifles, or carbines, pistols and sabres, to equip a 
regiment of cavalry. Of course, the necessary ammunition 
would be required at the same time. 

As the river is now in fine navigable order, I would sug- 
gest the propriety of at once sending to Fort Smith a suf- 
ficient supply of rations for six months for the use of my 
brigade, deducting the amount I may be able to get here, 
and of which I will inform you by telegraph as soon as the 
convention determines to turn it over to me. The naviga- 
tion of the river is so uncertain, that an opportunity for send- 
ing supplies may not occur again for months. Flour can be 
purchased in the country and supplied by our own quarter- 
master. I would also call your attention to the fact that I 
have neither officers of the quartermaster's nor commis- 
sary department and as it is absolutely necessary for a suc- 
cessful campaign here to secure officers familiar with these 
duties, I would respectfully urge upon you the necessity of 
sending them at once. The officer of the subsistence depart- 
ment you determine to send should go directly to New 
Orleans, purchase supplies for my command and bring them 
with him. I have the honor to be, sir, your obedient ser- 
vant, Ben McCulloch, 

Brigadier-General commanding:. 



Little Rock, Arkansas, 
Mav 23, 1S61. 



Hon. L. P. Walker, Secretary of War, Mo?itgomery ■, 
Ala : — 

Sir — I have the honor to state that from the most reliable 
source I have ascertained that Colonel Emory marched with 
all the Federal forces in the Indian Nation to Fort Leaven- 
worth. He started near the end of last month, and must 
have reached his destination before this. I was informed a 
day or two since that he had been heard of within two or 
three day's march of Leavenworth. I have learned that the 
notorious General Lane is organizing a force in Kansas to 
march into the Territory. Montgomery is no doubt hover- 
ing near the border. I shall proceed direct to Fort Smith, 
and organize my force as rapidly as possible and put them at 



156 THE LIFE AND SERVICES 

once in the field. I must again call your attention to the 
condition of arrrs in this state. The regiment of mounted men 
from this state will be of very little service unless arms suita- 
ble for them are at once sent. There are no arms suitable for 
the regiments of Indians that I am authorized to muster into 
the service. Some of them will present themselves with their 
rifles, but the greater part will be entirely without guns, and 
it will be necessary to send an immediate supply for their 
use. Without the Indian regiments I will be able to oppose 
but an insignificant force to the numbers sent against me. 
I teleglaphed yesterday about a supply of tents. I hope you 
will be able to send me a supply. There are no tents of anv 
description in the state. The regiment will be entirely with- 
out them. The convention has passed an ordinance sending 
all the subsistence stores now in the arsenal at Fort Smith, 
where they will be turned over to General Pearce, of the 
state forces, at the same time authorizing me to draw upon 
General Pearce for such supplies as I may want, with the 
understanding that they will be returned by the Confederate 
States. 

These subsistence stores, which were seized in going up 
the river to the Federal troops, would have been sufficient 
for my whole command for two months, but as I have no 
certain control of them and as there is a large force'of state 
troops to draw upon them at the same time, I think it neces- 
sary to have supplies sent at once. We may not have 
another opportunity of getting them for six months, on 
account of the uncertainty of the river. I will also be much 
in need of quartermaster's stores. A brigade quartermaster 
and commissary should be at once appointed and sent to me, 
with ample means. I have the honor to be, sir, your obedi- 
ent servant, Ben McCulloch, 

Brigadier-General commanding. 
John Ross, chief of the Cherokees, objected to the 
entrance of his country by the forces of either side to the 
quarrel ; proposing to maintain an attitude of armed neutral- 
ity ; to which General McCulloch replied as follows: — 
Headquarters McCulloch's Brigade, 
Fort Smith, Ark., June 12, 1S61. 
His Excellency, John Ross, Chief of the Cherokee Na- 
tion : — 

Sir — Having been sent by my government (the Confed- 
erate States of America) to take command of the district 
embracing the Indian Territory and to guard it from invasion 
by the people of the North, I take the first opportunity of 
assuring you of the friendship of my government and the 
desire U-at the Cherokees and other tribes in the Territory 



OF GEN BEN Mc CULL O CH. 15 7 

unite their fortunes with the Confederacy. I hope that you, 
as chief of the Cherokees, will meet me with the same feel- 
ing of friendship that actuates me in coming among you, 
and that I may have your hearty co-operation in one com- 
mon cause against a people who are endeavoring to deprive 
us of our rights. It is not my desire to give offense, or inter- 
fere with any of your rights or wishes, and shall not do so 
unless circumstances compel me. 

The neutral position you wish to maintain will not be 
molested without good cause. In the meantime those of 
your people who are in favor of joining the Confederacy 
must be allowed to organize into military companies as 
Home Guards, for the purpose of defending themselves in 
case of invasion from the North. This, of course, will be 
in accordance with the views you expressed to me, that in 
case of an invasion from the North you would lead your men 
yourself to repel it. Should a body of men march into your 
Territory from the North, or if I have an intimation that a 
body is in line of march for the Territory from that quar- 
ter, I must assure you that I will at once advance into your 
country, if I deem it advisable. I have the honor to be, sir, 
your obedient servant, Ben McCulloch, 

Brigadier-General commanding. 



Headquarters M'Culloch's Brigade, ) 
Fort Smith, Ark., June 14, 1S61. \ 
Hon. L. P. Walker, Secretary of War, Montgomery, 

Ala. : — 

Sir — The bearer of this communication (Captain Green) 
has been sent by the governor of the state of Missouri to 
urge apon us the necessity of advancing a force into that 
state to give countenance to the secessionists in their attempt 
to free themselves from the yoke which has been placed upon 
them. The governor is ready for the crisis and he only 
wants the aid of a force from this quarter to put his forces in 
action. Captain Green will give you all the information in 
regard to the views and secret movements of the governor of 
his state. I think the proposition of the governor is one of 
great importance to- the Confederate government and I hope 
will meet with your favorable consideration. I will briefly 
lay before you a plan of operations. 

As I have before communicated to you, the chief of the 
Cherokees is not willing to have a force marched into his 
country and he desires to remain neutral. The only way to 
force his country into the Confederacy is to throw a force 
into the northwestern portion of this state, take possession of 
Fort Scott, on the Missouri line, and subjugate that portion 



158 THE LIFE AND SERVICES 

of Kansas. I am satisfied that Lane has no force yet of any 
importance, and the occupation of Fort Scott would not only 
place Kansas in my power, but would give heart and confi- 
dence to our friends in Missouri ; and accomplish the verv 
object for which I was sent here, preventing a iorce from the 
North invading the Indian Territory. 

All the border counties on the western line of Missouri 
are with us. We would therefore be able to draw our sup- 
plies from them. After strengthening myself at Fort Scott 
I could, by co-operating with Missouri, take such a position 
on the Arkansas river as I might desire. In order to carry 
out this plan I would again respectfully apply to have the 
western military district of Arkansas placed under my 
orders, with authority to muster the troops now in it (about 
i, 600) into the provisional forces, and to accept such other 
regiments and battalions until my force is at least 7,000 
strong. 

The Indians are much opposed to marching out of their 
country. They are willing to organize for its defense, but 
want to remain in it. From what I have seen of them, I do 
not think it would be prudent to march them into Kansas, 
for they would be difficult to restrain, and I should much 
fear the censures that would be heaped on our government 
for employing them. If the state of Arkansas is supplied 
with sufficient arms, I will have no difficultv in getting the 
requisite force, but as this matter is of the utmost importance, 
j think if a well drilled regiment is available it should be 
sent at once to report to me. I have the honor to be, sir, 
your obedient servant, Ben McCulloch, 

Brigadier-General commanding. 



Headquarters McCueloch's Brigade, 
Fort Smith, Ark., June 29, 1S61. 
Hon. L. P. Walker, Secretary of War, Montgomery, 

Ala:— 

Sir — I have the honor to state to you that I will leave 
here to-morrow with the regiments of Arkansas and Louisi- 
ana volunteers to march to Maysville, on the northwestern 
frontier of Arkansas. General Pearce is already there with 
900 men. Missouri has been crushed and all her forces are 
falling back from the Federal troops in the state. I have 
authentic information that a force of nearly 3,000 Federal 
troops are now in Springiield, Mo., and that General Lyon 
with 9,000 men will soon be there. From reliable informa- 
tion it is the intention to enter this state and the Indian Ter- 
ritory. Under these circumstances I have deemed it neces- 
sary to issue a proclamation calling all the men of western 



OF GEN. BEN McCULLOCIL 159 

Arkansas to arms for the emergency and to rally upon Fay- 
etteville, twenty miles from Maysville. I hope soon to 
have such a force at my disposal on the northern frontier to 
drive this force back; at all events, to keep them from enter- 
ing the state. 

The Texas regiment has orders to -join me as soon as pos- 
sible. It has not yet reported here. My embarrassments 
have been very great Sent here without a force, without 
transportation and without arms, I have found myself very 
much crippled; but by taking the necessary responsibility I 
have organized a train, the necessary staff department, 
called for an additional force, and am determined to march 
against this force, to hold it in check, and if an opportunity 
occurs, to strike them a blow in Missouri. I hope that I will 
be sustained in all the steps that I have deemed it necessary 
to take. We are much in need of arms and ammunition. 
Is it not possible to send me a supply ? 

From last accounts such of the troops of Missouri as are 
still under the command of the governor and General Rains 
are falling back from the Federal forces toward the south- 
western corner of the state. I have sent reliable men to 
them with advice to fall back and form a junction with me. 
I ave hthe honor to be, sir, your obedient servant, 

Ben McCulloch, 
Brigadier-General commanding. 



Headquarters McCulloch's Brigade, 
Camp Jackson, Ark., July 9, 1861. 
Hon. L. P. Walker, Secretary of War, JSIotit%o??icry, 

Ala:— 

Sir — I have the honor to state that I returned to this 
camp to-day. It is two miles from Maysville, Arkansas, 
and seven miles from the northern boundary of the state. 
I started from this position on the 4th instant with Churchill's 
regiment of mounted riflemen and 1,200 men of Pearce's 
brigade, under the general. General Price, of Missouri, 
had reached a position in the southwestern corner of his state 
with 1,700 men. The general offered to march with me to 
the aid of the governor of his state and joined my command 
as we passed on the first day's march. From authentic 
information I had learned that the governor of Missouri had 
formed a junction with General Rains and was endeavoring 
to make his way to General Price's camp, and also that 
every effort was being made by the northern troops to cut 
him off. A force of 2,400 well drilled troops were marching 
north from Carthage against him; a force of 3,600 was 
marching south, rapidly gaining on him.. Rumors were also 



160 THE LIFE AND SERVICES 

afloat that another force was marching from the northeast 
under General Lyon, and still another was marching against 
him from Kansas. Under these circumstances I knew that 
there was no time to be lost, and if the forces marching 
against the governor could concentrate upon him, his force 
ol disorganized, undisciplined men would probably be cut 
to pieces and Missouri fall entirely under the control of the 
north. I at once saw Generals Pearce and Price and con- 
certed a plan of operations. 

I had a few days previous issued a proclamation to the 
people of western Arkansas calling them to arms, as their 
state was threatened. The effect of the proclamation had' 
gathered a force of several hundred men at Fayetteville, 
Arkansas. I ordered McRae, of Arkansas, to take com- 
mand of this force, and make a demonstration on Springfield 
with it. I found out afterward, through intercepted orders, 
that the effect of the demonstration was to call back portions 
of the force which was marching against the governor. 

On the 5th instant I found from authentic information 
that if the governor was to be rescued by my command, it 
was necessary to move with more celerity than the infantry 
and artillery could make. I therefore moved on with about 
3,000 cavalry, leaving the infantry and artillery in camp 
twenty-eight miles north of this place. Upon arriving 
within twelves miles of Neosho I ascertained that the force 
had already left that place and marched north against the 
governor, leaving a detachment of between 200 and 300 
men. I immediately sent two columns of cavalry on differ- 
ent roads to capture the detachment — cue column of six 
companies under Colonel Churchill, and another under 
Captain Mcintosh of five companies. The movement was 
entirely successful, and 137 prisoners fell into my hands, 
with 150 stands of arms, one color, seven wagonsg( loaded 
with subsistence stores) and an ambulance. In the hurry of 
reporting this affair I made the amount of property and pris- 
oners captured less than it was. During the night, having 
learned that a heavy cannonading had been heard during the 
day toward the north, and knowing that the governor was 
fighting his way toward me, I immediately mounted my 
command and reached Neosho before morning. After a 
short rest, I started with my whole command, and after a 
rapid march of twenty miles, I formed a junction with the 
governor, who was at the head of about 7,000 men. He 
had met about ten miles north of Carthage the force of Fed- 
eral troops about 2,000 strong, and had fought them nearly 
the whole of the preceding day ; the Federals slowly falling 
back before him. They had evidently heard of our approach 
and as soon as an opportunity occurred they made a rapid re- 



OF GEN BEN McCULLOCH. 161 

treat toward Springfield. The Missourians lost twelve killed 
and sixty wounded. They think the loss of 'the enemy was 
fully equal to theirs. 

Having made the movement without authority and hav- 
ing accomplished my mission, I determined to fall back to 
this position and organize a force with a view to future 
operations. The governor has determined to take position 
about twelve miles from me with his entire force, and effect 
an entire re-organization of it. He seems confident that if 
he had the necessary arms he could bring a force at once of 
50,000 men into the field. The force that was marching 
upon the governor's rear will no doubt move on to Spring- 
field, and I think there will be an urgent necessity in the 
course of a few days to make an attack upon that place, or 
we will receive an attack from their concentrated forces. 
Should I receive no instructions in the meantime, I think 
th*it I will, together with Generals Pearce and Price, make 
an advance upon it as soon as the different forces are suf- 
ficiently organized to take the field. 

I would here beg leave to call the attention of the depart- 
ment to the conduct of the men of my command during a 
rapid march of several days and nights, and some of the 
time with no other provision than beef and salt ; but notwith- 
standing everything, bore themselves like men, and their only 
regret seemed to be that they could not prove their strength 
against their northern foes. I would take this occasion to 
call the attention of the department to the conduct of Cap- 
tain Mcintosh since his appointment on my staff. His ser- 
vices in the camp and on the field have been invaluable, and 
I hope that other officers of military experience may be sent 
to my command for duty with it. 

I would again beg leave to call your attention to the fact 
that neither arms nor ammunition have been furnished me, 
and that the Texas regiment will soon arrive. They only 
received 1,600 single barrel pistols and a few sabers from 
the arsenal at San Antonio. 

I am also very much crippled for the want of necessary 
funds. Hope you will see proper to have my requisitions 
filled at once. I have the honor to be, sir, your obedient 
servant, Ben McCulloch, 

Brigadier-General commanding. 



Headquarters McCulloch's Brigade, ) 
Camp at Pond Springs, Aug. 16, 1S61. j 
Soldiers of Arkansas, Louisiana and Texas : — 

The reputation of the states that sent you here is now in 
jour own hands. If wrong is done blame will attach to all. 



162 TH e L IEE AND SERVICES 

Then let it be the duty of all to restrain the vicious. Let 
not the laurels so nobly won on the ioth instant, at the bat- 
tle of Oak Hills, be tarnished by a single trespass upon the 
property of the citizens of Missouri. 

The quartermasters of regiments will purchase all that 
can be had in the country for your use. l^et it not be said 
f us that we are not gentlemen as well as soldiers. 

Ben McCulloch, 
Brigadier-General commanding. 



Camp near Springfield, Mo., 
Aug. 24, 1861. 
His Excellency, Jefferson Davis : — 

The Arkansas troops have all left the service. Now, 
only 3,000 are left. A large force ought to be organized at 
once. The artillery and small arms ought not to be moved 
from the west. We have arms for 3,000 men. More should 
be sent us if it is possible. Men for twelve months can»be 
raised in Arkansas. Texas offers five regiments for the 
same term. But little can be expected from Missouri. She 
has no military leader or arms. Answer. Direct to Col. 
Flournoy, Little Rock. Ben McCulloch, 

Brigadier-General commanding. 



Extract letter, J. T. K. Haywood, of Missouri: — 
' Then, as a sample of what is done by some officers, 
last week a man named McAfee (speaker of the last house 
of representatives) was arrested. General Hurlbut ordered 
him to be set digging trenches and pits for necessaries, at 
which he was kept all one day when the mercury ranged 
about one hundred degrees in the shade. A few days later 
he was taken from Macon to Palmyra, and the general 
ordered him to be tied on the top of the cab on the engine. 
It was prevented by our men, who, when persuasion failed, 
the engineer swore he would not run the engine if it was 
done (and I upheld him in it), and as he was being marched 
to the engine to mount it, the signal was given, and the 
train started, giving them barely time to get in the cars," etc. 

Headquarters Missouri State Guard, ) 
Camp on Sac River, Dec. 6, 1861. J 
Brigadier-General McCulloch, or other o-fficer commanding 
Confederate forces in Northwestern Arkansas : — 
Sir — The condition of affairs in this state is such that I 
must move my command to the Missouri river at the earliest 
practicable day. Predatory bands of the enemy, under such 
men as Lane, Montgomery and Jennison, supported by the 
lin.it jd state forces, are not only desolating the country, but 



OF GEN BEN McCULLOCIL 163 

are committing the most barbarous outrages upon the people 
of that region. They at the same time effectually close the 
roads to the thousands of recruits who would join my army 
could they get t"> it. 

My advices from all parts of the state satisfy me that my 
numbers would be indefinitely increased if I could but open 
the way to the river. My own force is too small to do this 
without incurring the greatest risks. Your co-operation 
would enable me to do it without risk or difficulty, and we 
could thereby not only relieve that part of the state, but 
would be able to place ourselves in the very best position for 
opening the campaign by destroying the railroads and get- 
ting possession of the rivers. 

I therefore do beg you to give me your instant and 
effective co-operation in a movement upon the Missouri 
river, and also into Kansas if you shall concur in it. I await 
your answer very anxiously. 

I inclose you a proclamation as a sample of what is 
threatened by the enemy upon the Missouri river, and they 
seem to be carrying out their threats. I am transferring the 
state troops as rapidly as I can, and very successfully into 
the Confederate service. I am, with the greatest respect, 
very truly, your obedient servant, Sterling Price, 

Major-General commanding Missouri S. G. 



Headquarters Division, ) 

Van Buren, Ark., Dec. 14, 1S61. j 
General S. Cooper, Adjutant-General C. S. Army, Rich- 
mond, Va. : — 

General — I have to-day received a communication from 
Major-General Price, commanding the Missouri State 
Guard, asking my co-operation with him in his proposed 
march to the Missouri river. I herewith inclose my answer. 
The facility with which the enemy could concentrate a force 
on the Missouri river, renders such a proposal at this season 
of the year almost madness. In a very short time it will be 
nearly impossible for wagons or artillery to move over the 
Missouri roads. Very respectfully, your obedient servant, 

James McIntosh, 

Colonel commanding. 



Headquarters Division, ) 

Van Buren, Ark., Dec. 14, 1861. j 
Jlfaj.-Gcn. Sterling Price, commanding Missouri State 
Guard, Camp on Sac river, AIo. : — 

General — Your communication dated the 6th instant 
has just been received. After General McCulloch ordered 



164 THE LIFE AND SERVICES 

the troops of this division into winter quarters, some at Fay- 
etteville and some on the Arkansas river, he started for Rich- 
mond, leaving the command with me. 

On the same day I received your communication a call 
for aid came from General Cooper, commanding the Indian 
department, who had just had another battle with Hopoeith- 
leyohola, and was falling back. Some of the Indian regi- 
ments were disaffected and nearly an entire regiment had 
deserted to the enemy. Under these circumstances I have 
been compelled to send three regiments to his assistance. 

I am endeavoring to make the troops now in this division 
as effective as possible, in anticipation of a call from the 
Mississippi river. Memphis is menaced and a call has been 
made on the neighboring states for assistance. The fall of 
Memphis would be disastrous in the extreme to our cause 
Under all the«e circumstances, the want of many essentials, 
the want of warm clothing for our Southern troops, and, 
moreover, the great distance to be traveled in the depth of 
winter over the bleak prairies of Missouri, I feel compelled 
although reluctantly, to decline to co-operate with you 
in your proposed march to the Missouri river. Hith- 
erto, whenever we have co-operated and I have had 
a voice in the matter, it has always been to move for- 
ward with you, but I am satisfied that nothing but disaster 
would attend a forward movement now. Did I think the 
good of my country permitted this move, nothing would give 
me greater pleasure than to march to the aid of men so gal- 
lantly battling for their country and their homes. Very 
respectfully, your obedient servant, James McIntosh, 

Colonel commanding. 



List of forces under command of Brig. -Gen. Ben McCul- 
loch, Fort Smith, Ark. Received, War Department C. S. 
A., Dec. 21, 1861. 

Louis Hebert, 3d La. Infantry ; strength 757 present 584 
E. McNair, 4th Ark. Regiment; ' 

Mitchell, 14th " Infantry; 
Churchill, 1st " Mounted rifles; ' 
Mcintosh, 2d 

E. Greer, 3d Texas Cavalry; ' 

B. W. Stone, 6th " 
Whitfield Texas Battalion Cavalry ; 
McRae, Ark. Battalion Infantry; ' 

Good, Texas Battery Artillery ; ' 

Hart, Ark. 

Provence, Ark. " " ' 

Bennett, Texas Company Cavalry; ' 



5S7 


(< 


397 


937 


u 


891 


SS2 


(( 


682 


722 


u 


553 


1,020 


(( 


2g 


935 


u 


339 


(( 


3 r 5 


35S 


(4 


228 


109 


(( 


103 


75 


(( 


75 


73 


u 


?2 


S3 


(( 


78 



OF GEN. BEN McCULLOCH. 165 

"Nine companies Ark. Infantry ; " ^85 " 585 

Ten " " " " §50 " 650 

The two foregoing being organized into 

regiments. 
Sims' Tex. Cavalry Reg't not yet reported. 
Young, Tex. Cavalry Regiment ; strength S50 present 850 

Total - - 8,964 " J,6j6 

Colonels Sims' and Young's and nineteen companies of 
Infantry reported since November 1, 1S61. 

Frank C. Armstrong, 

Adjutant-General Division. 



ACTUAL STRENGTH PRESENT OF M'CULLOCH's DIV. MAR. II, '62. 
GREER'S BRIGADE. 

Third Texas Cavalry - - 520 

Ninth " " 175 

Eleventh " " - 252 

Total - - ----- g^ 

churchill's brigade. 

Churchill's Regiment ----- 297 

Embry's " - 169 

Hebert's " ----- 271 

Hill's " - ... 306 

McNair's " ----- g^ 2 

McRae's " 178 

Mitchell's " 199 

Rector's " - missing 

Whitfield, s Battalion ----- 12 o 

Hart's Battery - - 55 
(Three guns, three caissons, no ammunition.) 

Total - - 2,894 



166 THE LIFE AND SERVICES 

CORRESPONDENCE, Etc. 



Immediately after the evacuation of Springfield, Mo., by 
the Federal forces, General McCulloch, as stated, made a 
reconnoissance to that point, at the head of three regiments 
of cavalry, and telegraphed as follows : 

Headquarters, Springfield, Mo., 
November 19, 1S61. 
Via Little Rock, Nov. 26. 

y. P. Benjamin, Secretary of War: — 

Sir — I shall return to Arkansas, put my troops in winter 
quarters soon, and ask permission to come immediately to 
Richmond, so as to give to the administration correct infor- 
mation regarding affairs in this region before it acts on mat- 
ters here. The Federals left eight days since with their thou- 
sand ( ?) men, quarreling among themselves, and greatly 
injured their cause by taking negroes belonging to Union 
men. General Lane went to Kansas, General Hunter to 
Sedalia and General Sigel to Rolla. I have the honor to be, 
with great respect, Ben McCulloch, 

Brigadier-General commanding. 



War Department C. S. A., ) 
Richmond, Nov. 30, 1S61. j 

Brig. -Gen. Ben McCulloch, Springfield, via Little Rock: 
I cannot understand why you withdrew your troops 
instead of pursuing the enemy, when his leaders were quar- 
reling and his army separated into two parts under different 
commands. Send an explanation. J. P. Benjamin, 

Secretary of War. 



Little Rock, December 4, 1S61. 
•J. P. Benjamin, Secretary of War: 

Your dispatch of Nov. 30 has been received. It is im- 
possible to explain by telegraph. I ask leave to go to Rich- 
mond at once for that purpose. My army is now going into 
winter quarters. Nothing now can be done on this line until 
spring. Respectfully, your obedient servant. I await' answer. 

Ben McCulloch, 
Brigadier-General. 



OF GEN BEN McCULLOCIL -* 67 

Richmond, December 5, 1S61. 
General Ben McCulloch : — 

If you think you can safely leave your command, you are 
authorized to come to Richmond. J. P. Benjamin, 

Secretary of War. 



The following is the report which General McCulloch 
submitted to the Confederate authorities in regard to the 
operations under his direction during the first year of the 
war, and the plain unvarnished truth, perpetuated as it is 
upon the record, will ever remain his most eloquent advo- 
cate and vindicator. It is true that these dead questions of a 
dead past have no relevancy to anything of living interest in 
the booming present, and they are here reproduced merely as a 
matter of justice to the memory of Ben McCulloch, who, mis- 
represented in life, in death should at last be judged with 
impartiality, by simply pointing to his record, contained in 
the voluminous tomes of "The War of the Rebellion," pub- 
lished by act of Congress, from the Union and Confederate 
archives, but the merest tithe of which is herein reproduced. 
That record corroborates the soundness of his judgment — his 
motives were never questioned — and vindicates for all time 
his character: 

Richmond, December 22, 1861. 
Hon. y. P. Benjamin, Secretary of War : — 

Sir — In reply to your telegraphic dispatch of Nov. 30, I 
have the honor to submit the following report : — 

I must beg your indulgence, and ask your permission to 
go somewhat into details as to what occurred whilst I had 
any connection with the Missouri forces under Price. 

About the latter part of June General Price arrived near 
the southwestern corner of Missouri with about 1700 
mounted men, a part of whom were armed. At or near the 
same time I reached General Pearce's headquarters in the 
northwestern corner of Arkansas, my whole force being en 
route from Fort Smith, consisting of Churchill's regiment 
from Arkansas and Hebert's from Louisiana, which did not 
reach that point until some days afterward. In the mean- 
time I learned that General Price had arrived in the neigh- 
borhood, being some twelve miles distant. I immediately 
rode over to see if I could serve him or Missouri. In a few days 
Pearce and myself received a letter from General Price, 
written by Brigadier-General Parsons, from near the Osage 
river, to the effect that he was trying to form a junction with the 



168 THE LIFE AND SER VICES 

other Brigadier-Generals, Slack and Rains ; that the governor 
of the state was with them ; that they were endeavoring to march 
toward the southwest part of the state and were pursued by 
General Lyon in the rear, whilst Colonel Sigel was in front. 
I at once rode over to General Pearce's headquarters, and 
we agreed to march into Missouri to aid the governor in cut- 
ting his way through his enemies, whilst Colonel McRae, of 
Arkansas, was ordered to go at once to Fayetteville, raise 
all the men possible in that neighborhood, and make a dem- 
onstration at Springfield by the telegraph road. This move- 
ment was well executed and had the effect of causing Gen- 
eral Sweeny, then in camp in Springfield, to recall that por- 
tion of his force on its march to join Colonel Sigel. 

It would be well to mention here that the military board 
of Arkansas had instructed General Pearce to co-operate 
with the forces under my command. At this time we loaned 
General Price some 615 muskets, with ammunition for the 
same. 

On the next morning my mounted men, under Colonel 
Churchill, reached us by a forced march and we entered 
Missouri for the first time, and formed a junction with Gen- 
eral Price, it being the 4th of July. 

My command consisted of Colonel Churchill's regiment 
of mounted riflemen, and General Pearce's, of Colonel Gra- 
tiot's regiment of infantry, Colonel Carroll's regiment 
of mounted men, and a battery under command of Captain 
Woodruff. We marched as rapidly as possible, expecting to 
attack the forces under Colonel Sigel at Neosho, but learned 
before reaching that point that he had marched north to 
meet the forces with the governor of the state, leaving over 
100 men at Neosho, who were captured by the regiment 
under command of Colonel Churchill, aided by Captain 
Mcintosh, my adjutant-general. That night our whole, 
mounted force reached that point and after halting an hour 
or two resumed our march and met General Jackson before 
12 m. at the distance of twenty miles. 

After a conference, the Missouri generals concluded not 
to pursue the enemy, but to repair to the southwest corner of 
the state and organize their forces, as many of them were 
not formed into companies or regiments. 

Having accomplished the object for which we entered 
Missouri — viz : to assist the governor in cutting his way 
through the enemy — General Pearce and myself repaired to 
our camps and went to work to organize and drill our forces, 
advisino- Gen^-nl Price to the same course. Very soon we 
learned that General Lyon had arrived in Springfield with 
some 10,000 men, and at the same time were very well aware 
of the scarcity of supplies amoilg the Missouri turces and of 



OF GEN BEN McCULLOCH. 16a 

the disposition of some of them to leave General Price in con- 
sequence. In a word, the country he occupied was too poor 
to sustain him and he was compelled to advance or disband 
his forces. After a conference with General Pearce, I went 
to General Price's headquarters and offered to aid him irt 
every possible way, even to marching on Springfield, which 
was agreed upon. 

I am particular in giving these details, hoping they will 
counteract the effect of the report, so often circulated to my 
injury, that I was not willing to assist Missouri. 

It will bebcrne in mind that I was assigned to the Indian 
Territory, with instructions to defend it from invasion from 
any quarter, and up to and long after this, had no other 
instructions. Consequently I did what was done at my own 
risk, not knowing that my government would approve my 
conduct. 

A part of the agreement between General Price and 
myself was that all his unarmed men and camp followers 
were to be left at his camp and under no circumstance per- 
mitted to march with the army. When we formed a junc- 
tion at Cassville, some fifty miles distant, I learned, to mv 
great regret, that the whole crowd of camp followeis had 
arrived also. I remonstrated with General Price on the vio- 
lation of the agreement. He said they should be left where 
we then were, and that I might draw up the plan detailin 
the order of march upon Springfield, which I did, and pai 
ticularly said that the unarmed men were to be left at that 
point. This order was submitted to Generals Price and 
Pearce and met their approbation, and not until my division, 
being the advance, had marched, did I learn that General 
Clark, of Missouri, had refused to obey the order to leave 
his unarmed men. I called upon him at once and urged 
him in vain not to set such an example, stating the scarcity 
of supplies and the danger of a divided command when 
brought in contact with one well united, well drilled and 
under one efficient leader. I considered it of vital impor- 
tance to rid the army of these men until after the battle was 
fought, but failed to accomplish it, as they all came with 
General Price to where I halted, some thirty miles from 
Springfield, the enemy being a short distance in advance. 
It was at this point I first saw the total inefficiency of the 
Missouri mounted men under Brigadier-General Rains. A 
thousand more or less of them composed the advance guard, 
and whilst reconnoitering the enemy's position, some eight 
miles distant from our camp, were put to Might by a single 
cannon shot, running in the greatest confusion, without the 
loss of a single man except one, who died of over-heat or 
sun-stroke, and bringing no reliable information as to the 



& 



170 THE LIFE AND SERVICES 

position or force of the enemy ; nor were they of the slight- 
est service as scouts or spies afterward. As evidence of this 
1 will mention here the fact of the enemy being allowed to 
leave his position, six miles distant from us, twenty hours 
before we knew it, thus causing us to make a night march to 
surprise an enemy who was at the time entirely out of our 
reach. A day or two previous to this march the generals 
of the Missouri forces, by common consent on their part and 
unasked on mine, tendered me the command of their troops, 
which I at first declined, saying to them it was done to throw 
the responsibility of ordering a retreat upon me, if one had 
to be ordered for want of supplies, which seemed likely to be the 
case, their breadstuffs giving out about this time: and in 
truth, we would have been in a starving condition had it not 
been for the young corn which was just in a condition to be 
used. My troops and those under General Pearce were in a 
better condition, though by no means burdened with com- 
missary stores. 

At this juncture, Major Dorn, of Missouri, arrived, bring- 
ing a letter from General Polk, saving General Pillow was 
advancing into Missouri from New Madrid with 12,000 men. 
After further reflection upon our condition, I consented to 
take the command and to march upon the enemy. Prepara- 
tory to doing so, however, I asked of the Missourians, owing 
to their knowledge of the country, some reliable information 
of the strength and position of the enemy. This they repeat- 
edly promised but totally failed to furnish, though to urge 
them to it I then and at subsequent periods declared I 
would order the whole army back to Cassville rather than 
bring on an engagement with an unknown enemy. It had 
no effect, as we remained four days within ten miles of 
Springfield and never learned whether the streets were bar- 
ricaded or if any kind of works or defense had been erected 
by the enemy. 

There was left only the choice at this time of a disas- 
trous retreat or a blind attack upon Springfield. The latter 
was preferred, and orders issued on the evening of the 9th of 
August to be ready for the march at 9 o'clock p. m., so as to 
bring on the attack at daylight on the 10th. At the hour 
named for the march, there fell a little rain, with strong indi- 
cations of more, which caused the order to march to be coun- 
termanded, after a conference with General Price. That 
was thought to be prudent, as we had an average of only 
twenty-five rounds of ammunition to the man, and no more 
to be had short of Fort Smith or Baton Rouge. Not more 
than one man in four was furnished with anything better 
than bags made of cotton cloth in which to carry their car- 
tridges. The slightest rain or wet would have almost dis- 



OF GEN. BEN McCULLOCIL 171 

armed us, as many of the men had nothing but the common 
shot-gun and rifle of the country, without bayonets. 

However, the enemy unwisely concluded to attack us in 
our position, which was well selected tor the kind of arms 
we had to use against their long range rifled muskets. 

On the morning of the ioth, information of the approach 
of the enemy's advance down the creek was soon followed 
by a precipitate retreat of a portion of General Rains' 
mounted men, mixed up with camp followers to the number 
of several thousand, and this too, before the firing had 
begun. I mention these facts to show the unorganized con- 
dition of the Missouri forces, and what great risk we ran of 
panic being communicated to the fighting men of the army 
by having such material among them. Very nearly at the 
same time the enemy opened upon us both above and below 
on the creek, the two extremes of our camp being composed 
of mounted men from Missouri, whose duty it was to have 
kept pickets on the roads, both above and below, on which 
the enemy advanced. I have never been able to learn who 
ordered those pickets to leave their posts, or if they left them 
without orders when the time arrived to march the night 
before at nine o'clock. Be that as it may, the fault was 
theirs and not mine, that the enemy was allowed to approach 
so near before we were notified of it. However, I never 
considered anything lost by their manner of attack, as we 
never were in a better condition to make the battle, every 
man being ready with gun in hand to receive the enemy, 
when at other times thousands of our men would be miles 
away from camp hunting something to eat for themselves and 
horses. 

In thus going into details on this subject I wish to show 
how unreliable was a portion o,f the troops under General 
Price, but by no means do I wish to reflect upon the bravery 
of General Price himself or his infantry and artillery, who 
fought heroically at the battle of Oak Hills. 

The battle over, it was ascertained that the camp followers, 
whose presence I had strongly objected to, had robbed our 
dead and wounded on the battlefield of their arms and at the 
same time had taken those left by the enemy. I tried to 
recover the arms thus lost by my men, and also a portion of 
those taken from the enemy, but in vain. General Pearce 
made an effort to get back those muskets loaned to General 
Price before we entered Missouri the first time. I was 
informed he recovered only 10 out of the 615. I then asked 
that the battery be given me which was won by the Louisi- 
ana Regiment at the point of the bayonet. The s^uns were 
turned over by order of General Price, minus the horses and 
most of the harness. I would not have demanded these 



172 TUB LIFE AND SERVICES 

guns had General Price done the Louisiana Regiment justice 
in his official report. The language used by him was calcu- 
lated to make the impression that the battery was captured 
by his men instead of that regiment. 

My official report was written after General Price's was 
printed in Springfield. Let them both be read, and let 
unprejudiced men say which was best calculated to keep up 
a feeling of friendship between the two armies. It was with 
this purpose I refrained from mentioning facts in my official 
report which are mentioned now in this communication. I 
always endeavored to prevent ill-feeling between our forces, 
because it was to the interest of both to have them co-oper- 
ate fully against a common foe.* 

A few days after the battle of Oak Hills, General Price 
wrote me a note, and then called on me in person, request- 
ing me to march with him to the Missouri river. I declined 
to do so, first, because my whole force fit for duty were 
required for the protection of the upper portion of Arkansas, 
and to keep the Federals in Kansas from gaining access to 
the Cherokee Nation, which still occupied a neutral position ; 
secondly, because I had very little ammunition, some of my 
officers having informed me, when ordered to be ready to 
pursue the enemy on the ioth of August, that some of their 
men had fired their last cartridge in the battle of that date ; 
and, thirdly, because we could expect no co-operation on 
the part of Colonel Hardee and General Pillow, I having 
just received a letter from Colonel (now General) Hardee, 
informing me that General Pillow had fallen back, and that 
in consequence he would be compelled to retire to his former 
position near the Arkansas line. This information I 
imparted to General Price in this interview. 

On this day the Arkansas state troops marched for home, 
leaving me with about 2,500 men fit for duty, 2,000 of whom 
were required to defend the northwestern part of Arkansas 
and the Indian Territory. 

Whilst General Price and myself have ever been on the 
most friendly terms personally, yet we never could agree as 
to the proper time for marching to the Missouri river. Had 
he thought proper to 'listen to my suggestions on the subject, 
he would been advised to fortify Springfield and hold it with 
his artillery and infantry and post his mounted men so as to 
give protection against the jayhawkers from Kansas. The 
legislature could then have been called together by the gov- 
ernor at Springfield, the state have seceded from the Union, 
and her army been turned over to the Confederacy at the 
time she was admitted as a member. A commander over 
the state forces and those under me could have been 
appointed by the president, which would have secured co-op- 



OF GEN BEN McCULLOCH. 173 

eration in all their movements. Then, if possible, a consid- 
erable number of extra arms to give to those who joined us, 
and at the same time a force to have menaced St. Louis 
from below, would have been the time to have marched to 
the Missouri river, raise the strong secession element on both 
sides of the river and march down upon St. Louis. At all 
events it could have been mustered into the Confederate ser- 
vice and brought off to the interior of the state, and not 
abandoned after being raised, to be stripped of its arms and 
be put in such a condition by the Federal government as to 
be of no sort of use in the future struggle in the state for 
independence. 

Soon after the battle was fought and won at Oak Hills, 
the forces engaged in its glorious achievement, separated — 
those under General Price for the Missouri river ; those 
under General Pearce left for home, whilst those under my 
command moved off toward the Cherokee Nation. I imme- 
diately used every exertion to increase my force, for the pur- 
pose of attacking Forts Scott and Lincoln, in Kansas, and 
just at the time I was concentrating mv whole force near the 
Kansas border, General Price came down upon me, bring- 
ing the intelligence of the approach of General Fremont 
upon Springfield with 30,000 or 40,000 men. This forced 
me to abandon my contemplated campaign and repair at 
once to the telegraph road which leads from Springfield to 
Fayetteville, in Arkansas, where most of my supplies were 
kept at the time, and were liable to be destroyed by a few 
bold horsemen. 

Before separating from General Price I called on him 
twice, for the purpose of forming some plan upon which to 
meet the enemy. It was thought best for me to occupy 
some position between Pineville, which he was to :all back 
to if the enemy advanced, and the telegraph road. This I 
did, and at the same time sent two regiments, under Colonel 
Mcintosh, one from Texas and one from Arkansas, to a 
point some thirty miles in advance of my position. From 
these regiments scouts were thrown forward to and beyond 
Springfield, keeping me informed of the movements and 
strength of the enemy's force as they arrived at that point. 
In the meantime General Price came again into the centre 
of my column without giving me the least notice of his inten- 
tion. I rode in the direction of his headquarters and met 
Governor Jackson and suggested the propriety of a confer- 
ence with General Price. We met next day at a point 
between the two armies, w r here it was agreed upon by all 
the Missouri generals, that we should await an attack 
from the enemy, the ground to be selected by General 
Price and myself. The day after I went to see General 



174 THE LIFE AND SERVICES 

Price and we arranged a plan to co-operate in case either 
was attacked. Soon my scouts brought the information of 
the advance of the enemy, 12,000 strong, under General 
Sigel, some ten miles on the telegraph road. I ordered back 
the two regiments under Colonel Mcintosh with directions 
to destroy the forage near the road, having previously 
destroyed that around Springfield \ also some mills that were 
useful to the enemy ; in the meantime preparing to give the 
enemy a warm reception, notwithstanding the disparity of 
our numbers, his being over 30,000, mine about 5,000 and 
General Price's about 12,000. 

At this time General Price had fallen back to Pineville' 
in accordance with our agreement. I wrote him proposing 
to draw the enemy, if he did advance and follow us, into 
Arkansas, to what is called the Boston mountains. If we 
could have effected this it would have doubled my force by 
calling in my two regiments from Texas, then in the Indian 
Nation, and the Indian regiments also. This he objected to, 
saying his men would not consent to go out of the state 
of Missouri, at the same time expressing a desire to see 
me. I again met him and told him if we fought the enemy 
where we were it would amount to nothing but a repulse of 
his infantry, as he would never bring his baggage wagons 
and artillery into so rough a country ; whereas, if he could 
be got down to the Boston mountains, some sixty miles, we 
would get all his cannons ( i2o)and most of his army with their 
arms. He said again his men would not leave the state ; 
whereupon, I agreed to fight them in our present position, 
though I believed it would result in little good to Missouri. 

In a day or two my scouts brought me the news of the 
retreat of the enemy from Springfield ; General Hunter 
toward Sedalia, with over 15,000 men; General Lane 
toward Kansas with 4,000 men ; and General Sigel toward 
Rolla, with 12,000 men. Whilst I was making ready to 
make a forced march ,vith my best shod horses to overtake 
the rear of Gen. Sigel's column, who was three days behind 
the others in leaving Springfield, a note was handed me from 
Gen. Price, asking me to join him in pursuing Gen. Lane, 
who had carried off some 600 negroes belonging 
to people in Missouri. I declined to join in the pursuit, on 
the ground that he could not be overtaken, he having some 
seven days and one hundred miles the start of us. I in- 
formed Gen. Price of my intention to make a forward march 
after Gen. Sigel, but received no reply nor did I hear any- 
thing more of his movements, except such as was brought by 
travelers, who are seldom to be relied on. 

It has been asked why I did not pursue the enemy? In 
ans wering this question, I will merely state the facts and let 



OF GEN BEN McCULLOCIl. 175 

my superiors say if it would would have been advisable to 
advance under trie circumstances. 

In the first place my force was entirely inadequate for 
such an undertaking, it being about 5,000 men, including 14 
pieces of artillery. Five hundred of these men had been 
too much enfeebled by sickness to be able to take the field, 
though they would have fought the enemy had they marched 
on us. This would have reduced my force to 4,500; 2,000 
of which it would have been indispensably necessary, as re- 
cent events have shown, to have left for the protection of 
that portion of Arkansas and the Indian Territory. This 
would have further reduced my command to the small num- 
ber of 2,500. Would it have been prudent with this force to 
follow Gen. Sigel,who had 12,000 men, to Rolla, where Gen. 
Phelps was already with 2.000 more, or would it have been 
better to follow Gen. Hunter to Sedalia who had over 15,- 
000 men? At the same time it will be remembered that 
both Rolla and Sedalia are the termini of railroads leading 
from St. Louis, that supplies without limit could be had and 
any number of men thrown to these points longbefore I could 
have reached them; and this, too, when I had made half the 
distance before they knew of my approach. Again, it will 
be remembered that these points — Rolla and Sedalia — are 
about the distance of of 200 miles from the position held by 
me at the time the enemy retreated from Springfield. I had 
not exceeding three day's rations for my men to start with, 
or a single extra mule or horse shoe to replace those lost on 
the march, and, this too, at the season of the year when the 
ground, being frozen, would render it impossible for cur 
mules or horses to travel without being shod. 

It may be asked, also, why I did not join my forces to 
those under Gen. Price. In answer to this question, it will 
only be necessary to say that it was impossible for us to 
march together, owing to the great number of animals in 
our commands, being not much short of 15,000, all of which 
had to be fed, as well as our men, on what could be gathered 
on the march through a country already laid waste by the 
armies of both sides having repeatedly passed over it. Be- 
sides, it was always clear to my mind that we could never 
maintain a position on the Missouri river for any length of 
time, owing to the great distance we would be from our re- 
sources and the close proximity of those of the enemy, we 
having to haul supplies in wagons over 300 or 400 miles, which 
he could attain by railroads or steamboats in a few hours ; thus 
putting it in the power of the enemy to do as much in twenty- 
four hours as we could do in as many days to supply a want 
of men and means to make war. 

It has been said, both by individuals and newspapers, 



176 TUB LIFE AND SERVICES 

that I was unwilling to assist Missouri. Do the many ef- 
forts on my part recited above to aid her go to prove it? 
Or can the accusation be proven by the fact of my having 
called on her general-in-chief three times at his headquarters 
and met him at two other points for the purpose of bringing 
about concert of action against the large force under General 
Fremont? Truth constrains me to say that neither he nor 
any officer under him ever visited my camp, though several 
of his generals were known to have passed in a few yards of 
my headquarters at the time. In conclusion, permit me to 
say, I have endeavored to give a plain statement of the mat- 
ters and things as they occurred. The dates and precise, 
language of the notes and letters referred to cannot now be 
given, as they are at this time at my headquarters. I have 
the honor to be, respectfully, your obedient servant, 

Ben McCulloch, 

Brigadier-General. 



CHAPTER VIII 



The Texian regiment entered Springfield the next day 
and the regimental flag was hoisted over the courthouse. Cit- 
izens represented the Federals had passed through the town 
the night before in evident confusion, and apprehensive of a 
cavalry pursuit. General McCulloch has been censured, first, 
because he did not pursue the beaten enemy immediately 
after the battle ; second, because he refused to co-operate 
with General Price in an advance movement into the interior 
of Missouri ; but it is believed not by any one acquainted 
with the facts of the situation, and who was not prejudiced 
against him. In regard to the first charge, it must be borne 
in mind that the ammunition of the Confederates was about 
exhausted at the conclusion of the battle ; that the Confeder- 
ate cavalry were not disciplined ; the horses — especially the 
Texian's — were jaded by along march; and it is thought 



OF GEN. BEN McCULLOCIL IN 

that the candid military critic will conclude that he did 
well enough ; and that a costly mistake was possible, though 
dealing with a beaten enemy. And in regard to the second 
charge, it will be sufficient to state that after the battle the 
state troops in the Arkansas service were withdrawn by the 
executive; and that they refused to enlist in the Confederate 
service, thus reducing McCulloch's force to the regiments of 
Colonels Churchill, Mcintosh and Hebert, and the battery of 
Captain Good, of Texas, which arrived the day after the bat- 
tle. To have joined General Price in the proposed forward 
movement would have been to leave uncovered the Indian 
Territory, and leave open a door to the Jayhawkers to enter 
Arkansas and Texas. Besides, General McCulloch pointed 
out to General Price the facilities with which the enemy could 
throw out overwhelming force on to his rear, and probably 
inflict upon him severe loss ; all of which was verified in 
the movement of General Fremont, who, had he moved with 
vigor, could unquestionably have forced General Price to bat- 
tle under circumstances wholly favorable to himself. Num- 
bers of "political prisoners" were released from the jail in 
Springfield by orders of General Green. The Missouri State 
Guard moved up the same day, August nth, and encamped 
about Springfield, preparatory to an advance movement. 
The wounded were removed from the field hospitals to town, 
and General McCulloch visited the sufferers, and had a cheer- 
ful word for each. Certainly, no general ever enjoyed the 
confidence and love of his men in a more marked degree than 
he. Yet there were not wanting those who maligned and 
misrepresented him ; and though he had transcended his in- 
structions, and entered a field totally foreign to that desig- 
nated by the government ; though he had unquestionably 
come to General Price's rescue at a critical moment, the thanks 
he received were parthian arrows dipped in gall. He had 
suffered the army to be surprised ; he had failed to pursue 
the beaten army ; he had refused co-operation with Price ; 
but all this was powerless to draw from him a rejoinder ; he 
pursued the even tenor of his way, conscious of his own 
rectitude, and leaving his vindication to the inexorable logic 
of time and facts, and it has come. When the cayotes had 



178 THE LIFE AND SERVICES 

become a, pack, snarling at his heels, he did speak out, and 
store away in the war archives the full vindication of his 
conduct; of which more anon. 

On the 12th August, General McCulloch issued the fol- 
lowing congratulatory address to his troops : 

Headquarters near Springfield, Mo. 
August 12th, 1861. 

The general commanding takes great pleasure in announc- 
ing to the army under his command the signal victory it has 
•just gained. Soldiers of Louisiana, Texas, Arkansas and 
Missouri, nobly have you sustained yourselves. Shoulder to 
shoulder you have met your enemy. Your first battle has 
been glorious, and your general is proud of you. The op- 
posing force, composed largely of regular troops, have 
thrown themselves upon you, but by great gallantry and de- 
termined courage, you have entirely routed it with great 
slaughter. Several pieces of artillery and many prisoners are 
now in your hands. The commander-in-chief of the enemy 
is slain, and many of his principal officers are wounded. The 
flag of the Confederacy floats over Springfield, the strong- 
hold of the enemy. The friends of our .cause who were im- 
prisoned there have been released. 

While announcing to the army the great victory, the gen- 
eral hopes that the laurels you have won will not be tarnished 
by a single outrage. The private property of the citizens of 
either party must be respected. Soldiers that fought as you 
did on the 10th inst. cannot blunder. By order, 

General McCulloch. 

James McIntosh, Capt'n and Ass't Adj't. General. 

The following brief description of the battlefield is from 
the pen of one who visited it on the 24th August, or two 
weeks after the fight: "The dead of the enemy were strewn 
all over the field unburied ; we counted 150 of them. Dead 
horses, old clothes, broken wagons, canteens and haversacks, 
were strewn over the field. Particular attention was paid 
to the hill which was occupied by Woodruff's battery all that 
fearful day. The hill is now called, by the citizens living 
thereabout, ''Bloody Hill." Oak trees a foot in diameter were 
c ut in two by the cannon balls. More corpses were found here 
than elsewhere on the field. Here Lyon fell. Here the las' 
of the battle was fought. Evidently many of the wounded 
had crawled into the shade of the trees and died there, 
while others died in the ranks as they fell. The whole scene 
was a mournful picture of war's desolation. " 



OF GEN BEN McCULLOCH. 179 

The march to Arkansas was begun on the 25th of Au- 
gust, by the infantry arm of the command, the Texas regi- 
ment remaining in Missouri as an outpost; and in due time 
the old quarters at Camp Jackson were resumed. Feeling 
the imperative necessity of making an effort to obtain rein- 
forcements, General McCulloch issued the following address 
to the people of the states most interested in the operation of 
his army : 
Citizens of Texas, Arkansas and Louisiana : — 

Every exertion is now being made on the part of our ene- 
mies of the North to retrieve their late disastrous defeat on 
the plains of Manassas, and the field of Oak Hills. It be- 
comes necessary in order to maintain the glorious achieve- 
ments of our arms, that a large force be thrown into the 
field on this frontier ; and having received instructions from 
the department at Richmond to increase the force under my 
command, I will receive and muster into the service of the 
Confederate States five regiments of infantry from each of 
the above named states, by companies, batallions and regi- 
ments, for three years, or during the war. Those from Ar- 
kansas will rendezvous at Fort Smith and Camp Jackson. 
I have in my possession arms sufficient to equip two regi- 
ments of Arkansas troops ; the remaining three regiments are 
required to equip themselves with the best arms they cari pro- 
cure. The forces from Texas will rendezvous at Sherman. 
Those from Louisiana will rendezvous at Fort Smith. Vol- 
unteers from both the latter states will arm themselves as best 
they can. An officer will be detailed to muster in the troops 
from each state at their respective rendezvous. The com- 
manding officers of companies, batallions and regiments, as 
soon as they have been mustered into the service, will procure 
the necessary transportation for their several commands and 
march them at once to Camp Jackson, unless otherwise or- 
dered. Each man will be provided with two suits of winter 
clothing, and two blankets, also with tents, if they can be 
obtained. It is desirable that the forces from the several 
states should be in the field at as early a date as possible. 

I call upon you, therefore, to rally to the defense of our 
sister state, Missouri. Her cause is your cause, and the 
cause of -justice and independence. Then rally, my country- 
men, and assist your friends in Missouri to drive back the 
myrmidons that still pollute her soil, and threaten to invade 
your own country, confiscate your property, liberate your 
slaves, and put to the sword every true Southern man 
who dares to take up arms in defense of his rights. The 
principles inaugurated in this war by the proclamation of 



180 THE LIFE AND SEE VICES 

Gen. Fremont should warn the people of the South of the 
ultimate intentions of the North, and show them the neces- 
sity of rallying to the standard of their couatry, prepared to 
fighr in defense of their homes, their altars and their fire- 
sides, until our independence shall be recognized, and its 
blessings secured to our posterity. 

Ben McCulloch, 
Brigadier-General commanding. 

It was not long before a number of cavalry companies 
from Texas reported for duty, as well as the excellent field 
battery of Captain Good; and later, from the same state,. 
Whitfield's batallion, Crump's batallion, and the regiments 
of Colonels Stone and Sims(6th and 9th Texas). General Price 
was still in the interior of Missouri, though Fremont was 
known to have a force sufficient to overwhelm all opposition 
— estimated at 50,000 men. On the nth of October General 
McCulloch issued orders to his command for an advance, 
naming the town of Carthage, Mo., as the objective point. 
Greer's Texas rangers were encamped at this place, and the 
Governor of Missouri, in a recent speech delivered to the 
citizens and soldiers, spoke of a concerted purpose with 
General McCulloch to invade the state of Kansas ; but it is 
more probable that McCulloch was merely repeating his 
movement of the summer campaign, in anticipation of 
Price's retreat before superior numbers ; at all events, the re- 
sult was in consonance with that theory. 

Near Elk river Governor Jackson met the troops of General 
McCulloch, and insisted on greeting the Louisiana regiment. 
In a brief address to them he said: "I am glad to meet you. 
I welcome you to Missouri ; you will find there many warm 
hearted brothers who will warmly greet you. I feel that 
Missouri is free, and hope to announce on my return that 
she is legally a member of the Southern Confederacy, even 
as. she now is virtually. There are troops enough to drive 
every foe from her soil, I hope. We have plenty to feed 
th >m, and if we are blessed with pleasant weather — -one of our 
old fashioned autumns — not an enemy will remain in the 
state. I hope and expect you will winter in the heart of 
Missouri, if not in St. Louis. I have heard of you before, 
at the battle of Oak Hills, and for your deeds there, I thank 
you. Once again I welcome you to Missouri.' ' The Gov- 



OF GEN. BEN McCULLOCH. 181 

ernor was en route for the town ot Neosho, at which 
place the state legislature had been summoned to con- 
vene October 23d, for the purpose of formally sever- 
ing all relations with the United States. General Price 
had also marched his army, considerably reinforced and 
otherwise improved by his recent brilliant campaign 
in the interior of the state, to the same place ; and 
the host, estimated by vulgar rumor, numbered 20,000 
men, encamped in the beautiful valleys about Neosho, im- 
parted an unwonted vivacity to the rural framework 
of the picture, and imparted a dignity, if not in- 
deed grandeur to the deliberation of the legisla- 
ture. Rumors came of the advance of General Fre- 
mont at the head ot a force variously estimated at from 30,- 
000 to 50,00a men. It was supposed the intention of the 
Federal commander was to prevent the assembling of the 
"rebel legislature." The roads were rendered impassable by 
blockades of felled trees, etc. Fremont advanced no further 
than Springfield, and after remaining there a short time re- 
turned to St. Louis. General McCulloch, at the head of 
some 3,000 cavalry, entered the to,vn of Spring- 
field soon after its evacution by the enemy. But 
previous to this, or about the 20th inst., General 
McCulloch had retired his infantry and artillery to 
Camp Stevens, just south of the state line. General 
Price established his camp at Springfield, and in conformity 
to the recent ordinance of secession passed by the legislature, 
spent the winter in re-organization of his army, and their 
muster into the Confederate service. 

It being evident that all military operations would of ne- 
cessity be suspended for the winter, General McCulloch 
caused the various regiments of his command to prepare 
quarters for the coming winter; and there was not during the 
course of the war a Confederate army more comfortably sit- 
uated than this, thanks to the humanity and provident fore- 
thought of its commander. At all times during the com- 
mand of General McCulloch the rations issued to the men 
were wholesome and abundant, including the luxuries of 
coffee, sugar, molasses and tobacco ; and if the blockade of 
the southern ports was causing the people of Dixie to exper- 



182 THE LIFE AND SERVICES 

ience the want of all the luxuries of life, and not a few necessi- 
ties as well, the spectre want, which long presaged our final 
discomfiture, had not shown its grinning visage in McCuJ- 
loch's army, and the writer, who was an humble actor m 
those scenes, in reverting to that period of the "cruel war.'' 
cannot but feel that Ben. McCulloch was the most con- 
summate department commander in the Confederate ser- 
vice His executive ability was oi the very highest order, 
which became the more apparent by the s id contrast after his 
death. Mr. Davis has been censured for retaining Gen- 
eral McCulloch in command of that important district; but 
in daring to oppose public clamor in this case, as in that of 
the peerless A. Sidney Johnston, he showed himself to be 
worthy the championship of a great political cause; for his 
measures were based upon the soundest considerations, and 
evinced a judgment in the premises all but infallible. Hav- 
ing disposed of his men thus comfortably, General McCul- 
loch, about the 1st of December, set out upon a visit to the 
Confederate capital. A writer thus describes his appear- 
ance at that period: "The personnel of this remarkable char- 
acter was striking. His face was nearly concealed by a 
brown beard and mustache. Keen gray eyes looked with 
a piercing glance from beneath his shaggy eyebrows ; a 
brown felt hat placed firmly on his head ; black and white 
checked overcoat, pants of blue army cloth, the inside half 
of the legs being lined with buckskin, and hands encased in 
soiled buckskin gauntlets, with not a mark or ornament visi- 
ible to betoken his rank, or attract attention. An observer 
would have little supposed him to be the famed and dreaded 
ranger, Ben McCulloch. 

During this season of inactivity the old feud between the 
Missourians and Confederates was relighted by the pen 
of Mr. J. W. Tucker, formerly editor of the St. Louis your- 
nal, and an uncompromising opponent of General McCul- 
loch, and in his tirades often overstepped the bounds of 
propriety. This was during the absence of the General 
and Colonel John Henry Brown, an old and honored 
Texian, and of course a warm friend and enthusiastic ad- 
mirer of General McCulloch, commenced the publication of 
a paper called the War Bulletin. But as a matter of jus- 



OF GEN. BEN McCULL OCIL l»» 

tice to Colonel Brown it should be stated that in simply de- 
fending his chief from the malignant aspersions of an enemy 
he appreciated the necessity which had forced him to take 
up the pen at all ; and at the same time that he counteracted 
the poison of Mr. Tucker, labored in behalf of harmony and 
the efficiency of the Confederate service. As a sample, the 
subjoined excerpt from the paper of Mr. Tucker is repro- 
duced, more as a curiosity than for any other purpose now: 
"With the exception of the battle of Springfield, not a sword 
has been drawn for the release of Missouri, save by her own 
sons. At that memorable battle the Confederate com- 
mander was asked for the assistance of three regiments to 
pursue a defeated and disorganized foe, where 7,000 men 
and a million dollars worth of war material were within our 
reach. But General Price asked in vain. So his requests 
were responded to when he went to fight the battles of Dry- 
wood and Lexington — not aided — not supplied with a per- 
cussion cap, for the want of which latter article he was 
compelled to fall back 200 miles with an army of 20,000 
men. During this trying period, within which the state 
could have been disenthralled, our Confederate allies have 
maintained their camp on the southern border in inglorious in 
activity, not even protecting Missouri from Kansas Jay- 
hawkers. We know these allied troops are as brave men as 
ever went forth to battle, and that they chafed like a caged 
lion to join the Missourians in their well-sustained resistance, 
but these troops had no orders to move. Can this be ex- 
plained? There Was no enemy to fight in Arkansas, and the 
army of Missouri was in every action and movement guard- 
ing the gates of Arkansas, Louisiana and Texas." This ad- 
dress was published in the Arkansian, a newspaper printed 
at Fayetteville, and was addressed to the people of the Con- 
federate States. It proved to be the straw that broke the 
camel's back, for the old lion, abused so long by the ass, 
growled at last. It is to be regretted that General McCul- 
loch allowed his feelings for once to control his judgment, 
as certainly was the case when he penned the reply, which 
follows, to the silly twaddle of Mr. Tucker. We regret that 
General McCulloch allowed the malign schemer to goad him 
into disparaging the brave Missourians ; but ere passing cen- 



184 THE LIFE AND SERVICES 

sure, weigh well the cause, and there is but little doubt that 
an impartial reader will conclude that he had ample grounds 
for the course he took. The reply of General McCulloch was 
published in the Richmond Whig, and was as follows: 
To the Editor of the Richmond Whig: — 

In your issue of yesterday is a communication signed "J. 
W. Tucker," in answer to which I think proper to make the 
following reply, which you will please give a place in you»- 
paper: Your correspondent says "that with the exception 
of Springfield, not a sword has been drawn for the release of 
Missouri, except by her own sons. On the 4th of July Gen- 
eral Pearce, of Arkansas, and myself, with all the forces we 
could command, "marched to the aid of the governor of the 
state in cutting his way through his enemies, capturing over 
100 of the enemy at the town of Neosho, a point at which 
we expected to attack Sigel, with his whole command. So 
much for his first assertion. He further says, in speaking of 
the battle of Oak Hills: " The Confederate commander was 
asked for the assistance of three regiments to pursue a de- 
feated and disorganized foe, when 7,000 men and $1,000,000 
worth of property were within our reach, but General Price 
asked in vain." 

Immediately after the battle was over, and in truth before 
all my forces had returned from the pursuit of the enemy, or- 
ders were issued for the wounded to be removed from the 
battlefield, the dead to be buried, and the army to be ready 
to march after the enemy that night. We did not march for 
the want of ammunition. Several of my officers informed 
me, when they received the order, that some of their men 
had fired their last cartridge at the enemy, as we had only 
twenty-five rounds to the man before the commencement of 
the battle, and no more within hundreds of miles. After a 
conference with General Price it Was thought best to "let 
well enough alone." As to being asked for the three regi- 
ments, I have no recollection of any such request. So 
much for his second assertion. 

Now for his third assertion, in which he wishes to convey 
the idea that I had not, and would not aid Missouri with a 
man, a gun or a percussion cap, and that I would not even 
protect Missouri against the Kansas Jayhawkers. At the 
time that General Pearce and myself first entered Missouri, 
on the 4th of July, we loaned General Price some 615 mus- 
kets. When our forces formed a junction at the town of 
Cassville, Colonel Hebert, of Louisiana, at my request, 
loaned a Missouri officer 100 muskets. I have frequently 
since given the Missourians the last cap that I could spare 
from my own command. Let those officers say how many of 



OF GEN DEN McCULLOCII. IS 5 

recovered ten, and Colonel Hebert was only able to recover 
a portion of those he loaned. Besides, it is a well-known 
fact that the anrs of our dead and wounded were taken from 
the battlefield ; nor did we get any of the small arms left by 
the enemy. A? to the Kansas Jayhawkers, and our inglorious 
idleness: mounted men gave protection to the whole country 
on the borders of Missouri for one hundred miles north of 
the Arkansas line from immediately after the battle of Oak 
Hills until in October, when General Price retreated from 
Lexington to that section of the state. So much for those 
allegations. 

It will be remembered that I was assigned to the command 
of the Indian Territory, with orders to defend it from any 
quarter ; consequently my participation in the battle of Oak 
Hills was upon my own responsibility, with a reliance of 
being sustained therein oy my own government As to my 
men chafing like a caged lion to join the Missourians, I must 
say it is news to me. It may be imagined how exceedingly 
anxious the Louisiana regiment were to march, exposed to 
sun and rain, while other men were sheltered under ninety-five 
tents ta ken from themselves by order of a Missouri general. 
These tents had the extra clothing of the men rolled up in 
them, and were stored with a merchant in Cassville at the 
time we marched upon Springfield, and were taken out of his 
possession by Brigadier-General Parsons, conveyed on the 
same road with that regiment, and not a word in regard to 
the tents or the clothing of my men w 7 as ever mentioned to 
me afterwards by any Missourian. If this was not enough 
to make the gallant Louisiana regiment chafe like a caged 
lion to join General Price, they only had to refer to his offi- 
cial report of the battle of Oak Hills to see how completely 
they had been deprived of the glory of capturing Colonel 
Sigel's battery, which they did at the point of the bayonet. 
As to the troops of Arkansas, they were likely to chafe like 
a caged lion because they were not permitted to go with their 
country rifles and shot guns to see how Missourians handled 
muskets which they had borrowed and failed to return. 
Then there are the Texians, — they chafed like a caged lion 
because they could not have the opportunity to capture an- 
other flag and piece of artillery to be appropriated by the 
Missourians, while they (the Texians) were continuing to 
pursue the enemy. 

Perhaps all these gallant men were likely to chafe like a 
caged lion because they could not march with men who took 
possession of every mill and blacksmith shop in the sur- 
rounding country, and at the same time placed a guard over 
every store in Springfield, taking the contents of the same 
and applying them to their own use ; thus depriving these 



iS6 THE LIFE AND SERVICES 

men of the chance of obtaining a change of linen, a pound 
of breadstuffs, or a horse shod until all their own wants were 
supplied. 

I greatly fear the efforts of J. W. Tucker to disparage 
the gallant soldiers of Arkansas, Louisiana and Texas, and 
to deprive them of their just share of the glory of the battle 
of Oak Hills, wilj add little to the good feeling which every 
true patriot should desire to see prevailing among the soldiers 
of the different states at this time. 

I have not thought proper heretofore to notice any of the 
misrepresentations going the rounds of the newspapers. 
First, because they had no responsible endorser, and secondly, 
I hoped for the sake of a common cause that there should be 
no war of words among ourselves, when the enemy were 
still to be met with the sword. This hope has failed, and I 
am compelled to notice this publication lest my silence be 
construed as an admission of the truth of Mr. Tucker's state- 
ments — it being well known that I was in Richmond at the 
time his communication was published. 

In conclusion, permit me to warn my countrymen and beg 
of them not to put too much reliance in sensational articles 
written and published for effect. Up to the present time the 
country knows nothing of what has been done in Missouri. 
I have the honor to be your obedient servant. 

Ben McCulloch. 

Richmond, Dec. 22, 1S61. 

The following is the communication of Colonel Brown 
to Mr. Tucker: 
To y. W. Tucker, Esq., of Missouri, and the '-'•People of 

the Confederate States:''' — 

I have read, Mr. Tucker, your address in behalf of Mis- 
souri to the "people of the Confederate States," dated 
Springfield, December 24, 1S61, and published in the Ar- 
kansaian of this town. With much of that address I cor- 
dially agree ; but on reading that portion referring (though 
not by name) to General Ben McCulloch, I involuntarily 
exclaimed, in the language of the betrayed Caesar, li Et tu 
Brute V I felt that it was the crowning act in a series of 
unjust and untrue allegations against one of the bravest of 
the brave, truest of the true, and noblest of the noble men of 
the Confederate States: — and, so feeling, was surprised and 
grieved that you, sir, of all the patriots in Missouri, should 
lend the influence of your name to give them currency. I 
beg to say that a paragraph in this Bulletin, under your 
name, was written and in type before I saw your address. It 
is published since, in the same spirit in which it was written, 



OF GEN. BEN McCULLOCIl. 187 

and, I trust, is sufficient guarantee of the estimation in which 
you, as a brother patriot, are held by me. You say: — 

"With the exception of the battle of Springfield, not a 
sword has been drawn for the release of Missouri except by 
her own sons. [Mr. Tucker seems to have forgotten the 
battle of Belmont, fought and gloriously won by Polk, Pil- 
low and Cheatem, with Arkansas, Tennessee, Mississippi 
and Louisiana troops.] At that memorable battle (Oak 
Hills) the Confederate commander was asked for the assist- 
ance of three regiments to pursue a defeated and disorganized 
foe, where 7,000 men and $1,000,000 worth of property were 
within our reach ; but General Price asked in vain. So his 
requests were responded to when he went to fight the battles 
of Dry Wood and Lexington. Not a man, not a gun, not 
a percussion cap, for the want of which latter article, he was 
compelled to fall back 200 miles with an army of 20,000 
men. During this trying period, within which the state could 
have been disenthralled, our Confederate allies have main- 
tained their camp on our Southern border in inglorious idle- 
ness, not even protecting Missouri from Kansas Jayhawkers. 
We know these allied troops are as brave men as ever went 
to battle, and that they chafed like a caged lion to join the 
Missourians in their well-sustained resistance ; but these 
troops had no order to move. Can this be explained? There 
was no enemy to fight in Arkansas, and the army of Missouri 
was in everv action and movement guarding the gates to Ar- 
kansas, Louisiana and Texas." 

You write, sir, as if from personal knowledge of the as- 
sumed facts stated ; of the means, strength and resources of 
General McCulloch ; and as if he had no discretion or responsi- 
bility but to follow the will and plans of General Price. In the 
first place, sir, let me ask you if General McCulloch, by a forced 
march on Neosho (where he captured 127 Federal troops) 
did not create a diversion which saved Governor Jackson and 
General Price from capture by a superior force ? Did he not, at 
the same instant, hasten men to their support at Carthage, 
where the Missouri artillery had made a glorious fight, while 
the capture of Sigel's whole command failed, because a 
mounted force of Missourians did not come up to the work. 

How do you know that General Price (at Oak Hills) asked 
and General McCulloch refused three regiments to pursue the 
foe ? From whom do you get your information ? I will not 
deny or affirm the fact ; but we all know the troops had been 
on a forced march — that they had fought six hours in a burn- 
ing sun without water, and General Price's report says they had 
been without sleep the previous night. Greer's Texas regi- 
ment had been on a forced march for 170 miles and came out 
of the battle with broken down horses. You say the battle 



188 THE LIFE AND SERVICES 

was "principally" won by Missourians. Well, sir, that is 
a grateful compliment from a Missourian to the regiments 
of Mcintosh, Churchill, [which lost twice as many men as 
any other regiment] Gratiot, Carroll, Dockery, McRae's bat- 
talion, Rieff's company, Woodruff's and Reid's batteries, all 
from Arkansas ; Greer's regiment from Texas, which took 
half the prisoners captured, and Hebert's glorious Louisiana 
regiment, which took Sigel's battery,- and made three suc- 
cessful charges on widely different parts of the field. I have 
never heard that any of these regiments, companies or bat- 
talions fell short of good work on that day; far otherwise. 

You say, "so his (Price's) requests were responded to 
when he went to fight the battle of Dry Wood and of Lex- 
ington." Well, sir, such charges involve many counter 
points and the strategic history of various movements. 
Again, you inferentially assume that McCulloch was in duty 
bound to adopt and sustain Price' s plans ; vou forget that 
General McCulloch was sent out here without men, money or 
resources, to command in the Indian Territory, that after all 
the Arkansas state troops were disbanded late in August, he 
was left with a force hardly adequate to restrain the threat- 
ened hostility of a portion of the Indians ; that for two months, 
extending late into October, his effective force did not exceed 
2,500 men (though sensation makers created the public im- 
pression that he had from 12,000 to 20,000); that he did 
amply protect your border from the Jayhawkers by the active 
efforts of the effective force in the mounted regiments of Mc- 
intosh, Greer and Churchill. You forget that General McCul- 
loch was opposed to the policy of General Price in going to 
Lexington without a well-disciplined and well-supplied army, 
so as to hold the place when taken ; that his plan was to take 
a position in a region where a small force could fight a large 
one, and not in an open country convenient to the Missouri 
river and three railroads, through which the enemy could 
concentrate supplies and an overwhelming force in a few 
days, while our supplies must be hauled over rocks and hills 
from the Arkansas river, necessarily consuming much time ; 
that he desired in the position chosen to draw around him an 
infantry and artillery force sufficient to make headway and 
hold possession as he advanced, of the country in Missouri. 
Neither he nor any other man with respectable military abil- 
ity could expect an army constituted as was that of Missouri, 
with four-fifths of the men on horseback, and generals, horses 
and mules enough for £0,000 men, to successfully meet and 
hurl back a much larger army of infantry and artillery, 
equipped in the most approved manner. General McCulloch, 
I apprehend, thought the longest road — delay, reinforce- 
ment, drill and preparation — those trying tests of true gen- 



OF GEN BEN McCULLOCH. 189 

eralship when the multitude is clamorous for action — would 
be the shortest and certainly the surest means of redeeming 
Missouri ; in case, of course, she should secede and become 
one of the glorious sisterhood, which she did not do till about 
the first of November. He selected his position and ear- 
nestly called for more troops. The same influence which now 
(south of this,) repeat the unjust clamors against him, then 
said his appeals were issued as sensation documents ! ! ! Sick- 
ness ravaged his camp, already reduced at Oak Hills by 
death, wounds and discharges from various causes — his effec- 
tive rolls were lean, indeed, and he had but six pieces of ar- 
tillery, commanded by the chivalrous Capt. J. J. Good, of 
Texas. 

But, sir, when at last he had strengthened his little col- 
umn somewhat, and determined, with the full previous ap- 
probation of Prce (who had sent hm word that he w; s 
falling back from Lexington upon C; Seville,) and was on his 
march to destroy Kansas or its menacing nest of Jayhawkers, 
judge of his surprise when, without previous notice, he met 
the army of Price entering Neosho, directly severing his force 
in twain, with information that the enemy who was in pur- 
suit of them, in great force, was by that time in Springfield. 
Common sense demanded that McCulloch should abandon 
the Kansas expedition and take position to meet the new 
emergency. Several of his newly arrived regiments were 
then in the Indian country — some to watch the disaffected ; 
others to co-operate in Kansas. His well-laid and most im- 
portant plan, by which a death-blow would, have been given 
to that formidable combination, was frustrated by the failure 
of Price to take position on the telegraph road, which left his 
entire resources and munitions at Bentonville, Fayetteville, 
Van Buren and Fort Smith, open to any mere predatory foray 
of the enemy. 

These things, sir, General McCulloch foresaw ; that an ad- 
vance upon the Missouri river, without a powerful and well- 
disciplined army, amply supplied with munitions of war, 
would mislead and, in an exultant moment of false hope, 
draw from their homes great numbers of patriots, for the 
moment, who could not remain in the army as permanent 
soldiers and would be plundered and scourged by the * * * 
enemy for such action ; while a retreat before overwhelming 
numbers would become a necessity. He doubtless regarded 
such a double calamity as counterbalancing the good to be 
accomplished. Look at the result! Fremont's expedition, 
(accompanied by Price's retreat) followed, the origin and 
object being chiefly to intercept Price in his almost defense- 
less condition. Ruined families, deserted homes, desolated 
farms and a devastated country, must decide whether Mc- 



190 THE LIFE AND SERVICES 

Culloch's policy was wise or not. Before my bleeding' native 
state and mv God, I hazard the opinion that not only in this 
instance, but in his general policy, he has shown himself to 
be an able, far-seeing, safe and trustworthy commander. 

The threatened troubles in the Indian country, superin- 
duced, as McCulloch well knew, by bribes, with promise of 
support from Kansas, have crippled the general's operations 
and demanded much attention. They have culminated in 
open hostilities, followed by three battles and finally a decis- 
ive and overwhelming victory to our troops under the heroic 
Colorfel Mcintosh, who (I have heard) fought some at Oak 
Hills. 

It is true, sir, that General McCulloch now has a consid- 
erable army of infantry, artillery, cavalry and mounted in- 
fantry ; but a majority of them reached him after the time at 
which snow usually falls in Missouri; and they mainly live 
far south of even this point. 

The stubborn truth is, sir, that the country — Missouri and 
the whole South — have been grossly deceived as to the men, 
means and resources of General McCulloch, and he has been 
censured and maligned in proportion to this misconception. 
Sorry am I that so gifted, so true a friend of the South as the 
gentleman whom I address, has fallen into the popular error 
and speeds onward the unjust popular clamor. This, my 
dear sir, is all wrong. It is breeding ulcerations in patriot 
hearts! Do it not! Daily do I see hale, robust Missourians 
(some of them full two feet across the coupling) passing to 
and fro about this town, trading and turning pennies, whose 
delight seems to be in yelping at McCulloch for not driving 
the enemy out of Missouri; while they, instead of swelling 
the patriotic ranks of Price as Confederate troops, are 
gredey of gain in the general distress. I do not (Heaven 
forbid that I should) refer to heads of families who are exiled 
from home and have tried to save something upon which to 
sustain themselves ; but to these roving, itinerant and brain- 
less men who bear sensation stories wherever they go and 
seek trade in every turn. 

In responding to your allegations, I can do but a mitety 
of justice to General McCulloch without speaking of moler s 
and stating fa cts, some of which would enlighten the eatmy 
and others might produce ill feeling. I desire to do neither. 
My commander is absent on official business. Theseneale- 
gations have steadily grown from mere whispers into your 
own and other open attacks. Neither General McCulloch 
nor any friend of his has written a word in reply to them till 
within a few days past, when I apdressed, over my proper ini- 
tials, a respectful communication to the Memphis Appeal on 
the subject, to which I invite your attention. If I have said 



OF GEN. BEN McCULLOCIL 191 

anything not justified by facts and the plainest dictates of 
-justice, I regret it. I venerate the patriots of Missouri, my 
native state, and pray the day of her deliverance draws nigh. 
I pray for unity between her troops and ours — her officers and 
ours — but I am unwilling longer to remain a silent listenei 
to unjust abuse of as brave and true and magnanimous — as 
unselfish and pure a patriot general as ever breathed the 
breath of life. I speak what I know from twenty-three 
years intimate acquaintance with Ben McCulloch, reaching 
back into other "days that tried men's souls." 

I accord to General Price and his co-laborers great praise 
for their motives and efforts in Missouri ; but I protest against 
praise of them being tantamount to abuse of McCulloch and 
depreciation of the brave men from Arkansas, Louisiana 
and Texas, who .fought under him at Oak Hills. I trust this 
spirit may be expelled from every patriot breast, and that the 
"rise of grass" in 1862 may find a magnificent Confederate 
army, embracing in its ranks tens of thousands of Missou- 
rians, with those from other states, marching as brethren to- 
ward St. Louis, * * * * with no feeling but the har- 
monious resolve to redeem Missouri or die with their faces to 
the foe. 

Born in Missouri, identified from boyhood with the Lone 
Star of Texas, it has been my fortune, sir, to be long in the 
public service and to enjoy perhaps an undeserved share 
of public confidence in my beloved state. It is my pleasure 
now to aid in the redemption of my native state, and in do- 
ing so to serve under the man who, in times long agone 
— times dark and bloody — oft raised his fearless arm to pro- 
tect my now sainted mother and my country from the tom- 
ahawk and scalping knife. That man, sir, you assail — him 
I defend. Yours, in bonds of patriotism, 

John Henry Brown. 

Fayetteville, Ark., Jan. 6, 1862. 



In light of the tacts set forth in these communications, it 
appears almost miraculous that disaster did not attend the 
Southern arms in that quarter from the first. After the bat- 
tle of Oak Hills there existed between the allied armies a 
spirit of resentment amounting at times to almost direct an- 
tagonism. The conduct of General Parsons in regard to the 
appropriation, for the use of his own command, of the camp 
equipage of the Louisiana regiment, is inexplicable ; and 
not a few of the. other complaints against the Missouri officers 
were equally as indefensible. But in view of the great in- 
terests involved in the pending issue it was the proper policy 



192 THE LIFE AND SERVICES 

to conceal from the foe all evidence of our domestic bicker- 
ing, and to lend each other a full and cordial support in be- 
half of the common cause. It mattered nothing if General 
Price failed to return the muskets ; they were in the hands of 
men would make good use of them — and the effect was the 
same of a gun fired by a Missourian or a Louisianian. As 
to the artillery captured, similar charitable views should have 
been entertained. The Missouri army needed it most, and 
had no other means of procuring it. There need have been 
no fear of the Louisianians being deprived of the glory, 
which they had so justly earned, for the muse of history 
sooner or later rights all things properly appertaining to her 
domain. 

The visit of General McCulloch to the capital doubtless 
was made with a view to the composition of these troubles ; 
and as the Missouri army — now mustered into the Confeder- 
ate service — would necessarily operate in the same corps with 
McCulloch's division, it is evident that neither Price nor 
McCulloch would be an acceptable commander to the troops 
of the other. Hence Major-General Earl Van Dorn was 
named as the commander of the combined armies, which, 
until the battle of Elk Horn, was known as the "Army of 
the West." General McCulloch's efforts in regard to effect- 
ing a treaty with the civilized tribes of the Indian Territory 
were finally successful, through the medium, principally, of 
General Pike, the commissioner on the part of the Confed- 
erate States; and in the preceding July Captain Brusle was 
detailed to muster a regiment into the service, by the follow- 
ing order : 



Headquarters McCulloch's Brigade, ) 
Camp Stevens, Ark., July 21, 1S61. j 
Captain C. A. Brusle: — 

You will proceed without delay to the Creek agency in 
the Indian Territory and there muster in a regiment of Creek 
Indians. It appears from treaty stipulations made by Cap- 
tain Pike, commissioner, that this regiment is to be com- 
posed of eight companies of Creeks and two of Seminoles. 

It will be proper for you, as soon as you reach the Indian 
Territory, to advise Captain Pike, the commissioner, as to 
your purposes, who no doubt will give you valuable infor- 



OF GEN BEN McGULLOCIL 193 

mation in regard to this regiment. As s on as the regiment 
is organized and mustered into service, an election will be 
held for a colonel and other field officers, whom you will 
also muster into service. Major Clark, quartermaster at 
Fort Smith, will be directed to send you an agent of the 
quartermaster's and commissary departments to furnish the 
necessary supplies. Beef and flour can be furnished in the 
country, or certainly from Texas. It will therefore only be 
necessary to furnish the regiment with coffee, sugar and salt 
from Fort Smith, and directions wil be given to that effect. 
A quantity of powder and lead will also be sent from Fort 
Smith to the regiment. I have the honor to be, captain, 
your obedient servant, James McIntosh, 

Capt. and Ass't Adj't-Gen. 



S fecial Order No. ig : 

I. Captain C. A. Brusle, of the Louisiana regiment of 
volunteers, will proceed^without delay to the Creek agency, 
and muster in a regiment of Creek and Seminole Indians, 
which is being organized there. 

II. Major Clark, brigade quartermaster at Fort Smith, 
will send with Captain Brusle an agent of the quartermaster's 
and subsistence departments to furnish the necessary sup- 
plies to the different companies of the regiment as they are 
mustered into the service. 

James McIntosh, Ass't Adj't-Gen. 
By order General McCulloch. 



This regiment was composed of the following compa- 
nies: William F. Mcintosh's, D. N. Mcintosh's, James Mc- 
Henry's, Samuel Miller's, Thlar Keeta's, William Mcin- 
tosh's, Herrod's, Uchee's, Cusetah's, and Sam Chicotah's. 
Chili Mcintosh, a grandson of the famous "White King, "of 
"Horse Shoe" fame, was chosen colonel; and the regiment 
afterward did good service on many occasions. Other regi 
ments were organized in the other tribes, of one of which 
D. H. Cooper was colonel. Ultimately the Indian contin- 
gent constituted a brigade under the command of General 
Albert Pike. 

During General McCulloch's absence, Colonel James 
Mcintosh defeated a combination of hostile Indians, under 
the lead of the veteran Hopotheohola, at Chustenahlah ; o 
which more will be said in connection with the untimely fall 



1 94 THE LIFE AND SER VICES 

of that meritorious young officer at Elk Horn. Movements 
of the enemy, reported by spies and scouts, indicated a pur- 
pose to inaugurate an early campaign, and Colonel Mcin- 
tosh accordingly moved the infantry up to Fayetteville, Ark., 
about the 20th February. 

Soon after this the munificent donation to General Price (on 
the part of the patriotic people of Tennessee) passed through 
Fayetteville en route to Springfield, Mo., and consisted of 
a battery and six guns, and seventy-two wagons loaded with 
supplies. The enterprising Sigel made an effort to capture 
this train, but was frustrated in his design by the vigilant 
old Missouri hero. 

In the preceding autumn General Price was the recipient 
of an equally munificent present from the same liberal and 
patriotic donors, which consisted of fourteen wagons loaded 
with camp equipage, munitions of war, and twelve pieces of 
artillery, — six and twelve pounder guns, apparently fresh 
from the foundry, and were pronounced by artillerists to be 
the finest guns in the army. The teams were composed of 
large horses, all sleek fat; and the incident, serving as it did 
to remind the men that their trials and struggles were known 
and appreciated by friends afar, infused a degree of enthu- 
siasm into the hearts of all spectators. 

The following description of the appearance of General 
McCulloch is from the pen of a correspondent writing from 
Camp Jackson, September 30th, 1861 : 

"General McCulloch has been at his post all the time. 
He is as vigilant as a tiger. Every day, at some hour, a man 
dressed in dark clothes, wearing a brown hat, with thin, 
flowing locks, may be seen galloping across the prairie. One 
evening last week, as the Third Louisiana regiment was out 
on drill, just before sunset, a vast multitude of spectators, 
belonging to the various regiments camped around, being 
out, a horseman was seen approaching at a rapid gallop. 
Every person knew him. It was General Ben McCulloch. 
He rode up to the left wing and spoke kindly and familiarly 
to Captain Viglini, and then said, 'Good evening!' politely 
and cheerfully to all. Lieutenant-Colonel Hyams being en- 
gaged at his duties, he rode up to the adjutant, and asked : 
'Why are you not on duty? are you sick?' 'Yes, general,' 



OF GEN BEN McCULLOCH. 195 

was the reply, — when the colonel by this time had the men 
at 'a shoulder arms' ; and as the general passed down the 
i'ne the order, 'present arms,' was given, the general acknowl- 
edging the salute in his own unique and inimitable style. 

"Perhaps the character of none of our public men is so 
much misunderstood as that of General McCulloch. He is 
a Tennessean by birth and a Texian by adoption. He is a 
border man, a ranger and Indian fighter. Is this all? I had 
fancied him a perfect devil, a backwoodsman, a ruffian, an 
unpolished desperado ! General McCulloch is a medium-sized 
man ; perhaps he might be called a small man, with brown 
hair and whiskers. He doubtless has been handsome ; is yet 
good looking for a man of his age. A nice boot well-fitted 
to his foot, close, trim-made clothes, and, as before men- 
tioned, a brown hat, neither too high nor too low, but of the 
planter style, with a very clean, nice vest, short, polished 
boots, gloves and spurs, are the characteristics of his dress. 
His person is very neat, pleasant, slim, thin, and a slight 
roundness of the shoulders. He is as fine a horseman a § 
ever sat in saddle. Age has left its mark upon his counte- 
nance. His face is weather-beaten and brown from exposure ; 
numerous "crow feet" creep out from his somewhat sunken 
eyes. I think he would weigh about one hundred and forty 
pounds, and I would take him to be about fifty years of age. 
Judging from his general appearance — and he is all that has 
been represented — a bold, graceful rider, a desperate fighter, 
a reckless charger, a border man and Indian fighter of the 
highest type. Had he lived in the days of chivalry he would 
have been a knight of the superior class. More than all this, 
General Ben McCulloch is a great man. Mentally, he is of 
the sanguine-bilious temperament — a perfectly positive man. 
There is no half-way ground about him, no medium decision, 
no compromise, no guessing. With him It is I or, It is not I 
It shall I or, It shall not be I If the world should decide 
against him, or all the officers in his division, I believe that 
his own conscientiousness would prompt him to say, as would 
Jackson: '/'// take the responsibility !' One of the most 
marked features of his mind is its precision, its clearness. 
Individuality is strongly marked. He is not a talkative man, 
and consequently not a very social one. He seems to be 



196 THE LIFE AND SER VICES 

separate, self-existant, independent, original. I do not think 
any one ever knows his plans. He is an indefatigable stu- 
dent and thinker and never loses any time. Upon all sub- 
jects to which his mind is directed in conversation, he has 
correct opinions. He seems desirous of bringing his troops 
to the very highest pitch of discipline and military prowess. 
He detests stragglers and loafers. He loves order and 
decency. The first time the command was ever called out 
into line of battle, on Cane Creek, about August ist, the 
'long roll' being vigorously beaten by the drummers as the. 
men fell into line, their backs being to a ravine, down which 
the enemy's shells were expected, almost involuntarily 
the assuring murmur passed down the line: 'Steady, men, 
General McCulloch is loading the cannon himself!" On 
the next day General Rains attacked the enemy — the Louisi- 
ana regiment being posted on a hillside in support of a bat- 
tery, the intention being to allure the enemy into the ambus 
cade. In conformity to General McCulloch's instructions 
the. Confederate cavalry retreated in great confusion, and 
numbers of stragglers went pell mell past the masked battery. 
Finally Colonel Mcintosh with 150 scouts came in, endeav- 
oring to draw the enemy after him. We were waiting for 
the enemy to dash up at any moment, when General McCul- 
loch rode in from the front, accompanied by a few cavalry- 
men, the very last man. As he passed his men he said : 
'The enemy has halted to take dinner; come on, boys, we 
will dine also!' He has a very fine rifle which he always 
carries. This is his only weapon, or soldierly insignia. On 
the .morning we left Cane Creek, General McCulloch ex- 
hibited the greatest coolness. In person he would go three 
miles over the prairie with his staff, in search of the enemy 1" 



OF GEN. BEN McCULLOCH. 197 



CHAPTER- IX. 



January 23d General Price dispatched a message to Col_ 
onel Hebert, commanding ate Fayettville, announcing tha^ 
the enemy was advancing upon him in great force, and tha. 
he would be unable to maintain himself in his present posi_ 
tion. 

Rumors of movements among the Federals had been rife 
for some time, but it was not thought at all probable that 
they would commence operations in mid-winter; conse- 
quently the dispatch of General Price was quite a surprise to 
all. Colonel Hebert at once telegraphed the announcement 
to Colonel Mcintosh, and issued orders to the troops to pre- 
pare for a forward movement at any time. But the enemy 
after reaching Rolla, and suffering much in consequence of 
the inclement weather, abruptly returned to St. Louis. 

Matters remained in statu quo until about the 15th of 
February, when intelligence reached Colonel Mcintosh that 
General Price had been forced from his position at Spring- 
field by the advance of the enemy's whole force, and that 
the Missouri division had crossed the state line, disputing 
sullenly the enemy's advance. The Confederates were im- 
mediately en route to succor their compatriots. Says a cor- 
respondent, writing at that period: "On Saturday afternoon 
we left Fayetteville to join Price's army. The men passed 
Cross Hollows at a double quick, cheering enthusiastically at 
the near prospect of again meeting the enemy. Along the 
road leading to Fayetteville was a scene that beggared de- 
scription ; long trains of wagons loaded with army stores, car 
riages and buggies^ filled with women and children, whose 
blanched faces betokened their fears, horsemen, footmen, 



198 THB LIFE AND SERVICES 

delicate women, little children, all fleeing from the frightful 
demon of war. 

" The scene was heightened when we reached Price's 
army. McCulloch's infantry on hand at this trying juncture 
consisted of the Louisiana regiment, McRea's and McNair's 
Arkansas regiments, which joined the retreating army onjy 
to be turned back by the retrograding current." 

On Monday the enemy made a dash upon the rear guard, 
when quite a spirited engagement took place, and continued 
over two hours, several thousand men being employed on 
either side. Line of battle was formed in apprehension of a 
general engagement. The charge of the Federal cavalry 
was so impetuous that they penetrated the Southern lines, 
and friend and foe for a few moments were intermingled in 
seemingly inextricable confusion, during which time sabres 
and clubbed muskets were freely used. In this affair the 
double barrel shotguns of the Missourians were used with 
great effect. The enemy was repulsed, and the army retired 
leisurely to Cross Hollows. At this point, Young's Texas 
cavalry regiment, as well as those of Mitchell, and Rector, 
came up. General McCulloch also arrived, and was wel- 
comed by such a storm of enthusiastic vivas as seldom greets 
any one. The Louisianians especially were wild with joy, 
throwing up their hats, and elevating them on the points of 
their bayonets, the while giving deafening cheers, all of 
which presented a picture of which the silent, thoughtful 
chief must have felt proud. He bared his head, and as his 
sharp gray* eyes shone with an unwonted lustre, said : " Men, 
I am glad to see you !" 

So sudden had been their departure from Fayetteville, that 
the men left all their baggage, and now with the falling 
shadows of night, a steady fall of frozen rain commenced. 
But at the ringing voice of their beloved general, line of battle 
was formed, General McCulloch attending personally to all 

*Those writing of General Ben McCulloch often epeak of his eyes as " sharp 
gray," and they have been so represented in these pages, but his brother, General 
Henry E. McCulloch, state grass commissioner, now living, on being consulted as 
to the color of General Ben's eyes, has this to say: " Persons who have known our 
family for many years would be surprised to hear of any other than blue eyes 
among us."— Publisher. 



OF GEN BEN McCULLOCIL 199 

the details, and the shivering, hungry men threw themselves 
upon the cold, wet ground to sleep, if possible. 

The enemy created a partial surprise the next day by 
flanking the Confederate left, and suddenly appeared in the 
village of Bentonville, taking possession of the quarters of 
Rector's regiment. 

The retreat was resumed Tuesday morning, through a 
bitter cold rain ; the road being frozen was as hard as rock, 
and as slippery as glass. Throughout the long day the 
weary, painful march continued — the beards of the men be- 
ing white and frozen ; even the water in the canteens 
swung to the body, was frozen. 

Thus, footsore and weary, half famished, and dejected in 
spirits, the army entered Fayetteville on the night of the 
19th, only to find it indeed a "deserted village" — for the wo- 
men and children had flown to the south, while the men had 
sought places in the ranks of their compatriots. Says Mr. 
Tunnard, in his history before quoted: " The scene in Fay- 
etteville beggared all description. Stores broken open and 
rifled of their contents, private residences left unoccupied, 
invaded and pillaged, while commissary stores were scattered 
in wanton profusion in every direction. Upwards of 500,000 
pounds of pork, bacon, hams, shoulders, etc., was distributed 
among the half-starved troops. Every man and horse had a 
share of the burden, while it was scattered in every direction 
over the streets and on the sidewalks. The men even made 
fires of it to warm their chilled, freezing bodies. 

With the dawn ot the morning (20th) the retreat was re- 
sumed. During the night the weather suddenly moderated, 
and the roads were now filled with slush, over ankle deep. 
The force of the enemy was greatly exaggerated, and General 
McCulloch evidently was determined to avail himself of the 
excellent defensive position afforded him by the Boston 
Mountains. The buildings containing public stores in Fay- 
etteville were burned, and nothing left behind that could be 
made to contribute to the use of the enemy. The army 
reached the mountains on the 22d inst., almost famished and 
exhausted. General McCulloch's division was encamped on 
the telegraph road leading to Van Buren, and General 
Price's on the "Cane Hill" road, three miles to the west, and 



200 THE LIFE AND SERVICES 

facing the road leading over the mountain. The position was 
deemed impregnable by the men, and with their hunger ap- 
peased, and an abundance of supplies coming in, they were 
soon in good fighting trim, as enthusiastic as of yore, and 
anxious to try conclusions with the enemy. The Federal 
army took position on Pea Ridge, near Elk Horn Tavern, 
the division of General Sigel being thrown forward on the 
front left, occupying the village of Bentonville. The cav- 
alry of both armies were almost daily engaging in skirmishes. 
And in this position both remained without material change 
until March 5th. General McCulloch dispatched Majoi 
Ross, of the 6th Texas cavalry, at the head of 250 men, to 
penetrate the enemy's rear. Major Ross proceeded as far as 
Keitsville, capturing and destroying a wagon train, and 
making a number of prisoners, without the loss of a man. 
The activity displayed on the part of the Confederates had 
the effect of causing the evacuation of Fayetteville by the 
Federal cavalry, and their retreat to Cross Hollows. 

General McCulloch caused several of his cavalry regi- 
ments to be dismounted, as there was an entirely dispropor- 
tionate number of cavalry, which, in that sterile region, be- 
came really an element of weakness. 

On the evening of March 2d, Major-General Earl Van 
Dorn arrived, and immediately assumed the command. The 
new commander was welcomed with a national salute by the 
Missourians. 

General Van Dorn at once issued the orders necessary 
for an advance of the army, and with the prospect of active 
campaigning the men grew hilarious and enthusiastic, and 
all voted their new chief a success from the beginning. 

The army moved on the 4th, Price's division on the left, 
and McCulloch's on the right, as follows; Rector's, Hill's, 
Mitchell's, McNair's, Mcintosh's — dismounted, Whitfield's 
battalion — dismounted, McRae's regiment, Provence's bat- 
tery, Churchill's — dismounted, Hart's battery, and Louisiana 
regiment, with Good's batterv in front. Colonel Mcintosh, 
who had received from the War Department a commission 
of brigadier-general, was in command of a cavalry brigade, 
and occupied the extreme right and front in the advance. 
His command consisted of the regiments of Greer, Stone, Sims. 



OF GEN BEN McCULLOCH. 201 

Young, of Texas, Embry, of Arkansas, and one or more 
Missourians. General Pike had also arrived with his Indian 
brigade. As the army entered Fayetteville, on the evening of 
the 5th, the college building was fired by an incendiary to 
herald to the enemy the advance. Night of the 5th, the 
army encamped at Elm Spring, fifteen miles north of Fay- 
etteville. Ten forage wagons and 40 prisoners were cap- 
tured by Mcintosh during the day, and several more the suc- 
ceeding day. They evidently had not been apprised of the 
Confederate advance. General Van Dorn moved with such 
celerity that the infantry were sorely taxed to keep up, and 
no little grumbling resulted in consequence. The men were 
roused early in the morning, long ere the dawn, and resumed 
the advance. 

That night, as General McCulloch lay on a blanket in 
front of the camp fire, his head resting in the palm of his 
hand, and seemingly lost in deep thought, he said — address- 
ing Colonel Brown, Armstrong and Lomax, who respected 
the serious air, and meditative mood of their chief with def- 
erential silence: — " Boys, we'll soon have bad news. Forts 
Donaldson and Henry are bound to fall ; Sidney Johnston 
has only sixteen or eighteen thousand men at Bowling Green 
to meet Buell's eighty thousand, and he will be compelled 
to retreat to the north bank of the Tennessee, and there a 
great battle will be fought, and won, if the South rallies to 
him ; if not he will fail. Manassas and Oak Hills put the 
South asleep, but aroused the North. We have had but 
skirmishes compared with what is to come. Unless Johnston 
drives the enemy from the Tennessee, Memphis will fall. 
Our people have been blinded by our early success, and it 
will take months to rally forces that ought now to be in the 
field. We can recover lost opportunities by great effort, and 
tin the end can succeed if our people are resolved to make 
he sacrifice." Says Colonel John Henry Brown, in a letter 
to the writer: " General Frank C. Armstrong wrote me at 
Camp Nelson, Arkansas, October, 1S62, reciting these re- 
markable predictions, then accomplished facts, and asking if 
I remembered them, and urging me to make a record of the 
same for preservation, which I did. He and I have talked it 
over here — Dallas, Texas — several times since, and he will 



202 THE LIFE AND SERVICES 

verify the same." These utterances of General McCulloch 
were by no means a random expression, but were the result 
of a close study of the military situation from a professional 
standpoint, and evince no less his fine sense of analysis and 
discernment than his penetration and sagacity.* 

The army presented a martial appearance as it marched 
through the open prairie country, the flags jauntily fluttering 
in the breeze, the burnished arms reflecting the rays of the 
sun, while the long, serpent-like line of infantry seemed in- 
terminable. Bentonville was neared about noon. Sigel's 
troops were descried evacuating the place in much haste. 
General Mcintosh, followed by the Third Texas cavalry, made 
a rapid detour in an effort to strike the retreating division in 
flank. Sigel halted and formed in ambuscade a mile or more 
from the town. Mcintosh led the cavalry in a very gallant 
assault, but was repulsed with some loss. General McCul- 
loch hastened some infantry regiments, with a battery, to the 
scene, and after a few rounds fired by the latter the Federals 
withdrew, falling back upon the body commanded by Gen- 
eral Curtis. The army spent two hours in bivouac at old 
Camp Stevens, and again resumed the advance. While 
resting, on the night of the 6th, the men made fires of some 
rails convenient, and as the Louisianians were gathered 
around these, engaged in conversation, General McCulloch 
joined a group and remained pleasantly chatting with the 
officers and men for some time. He was dressed in a full 
suit of black velvet, the old and familiar brown hat was re- 
placed by one more on the order of the Mexican sombrero. 
Savs Mr. Tunnard : : 'One of the men approached the fire, 
and not recognizing the general, gently tapped him on the 
shoulder with a bundle of lightwood, saying, "I wish you 
would light these for me." 

The general, without reply, received the faggots and 
complied with the request. As soon as they were well 
lighted he returned the bundle, saying, "Here, my friend, is 
your fire." 

♦Colonel Brown, in the absence of the author, requests the publisher to say 
that these remarkable utterances of General McCulloch were made precisely as 
stated, excepting that the incident occurred in Strickler's cabin, on Boston mouu- 
tai n, abuc.t two weeks earlier than the date given. 



OF GEN. BEN McCULLOCH. 203 

The man was dumbfounded when he recognized his gen- 
eral, and attempted to mutter an apology, which he was pre- 
vented from accomplishing by his great confusion ; observing 
which the general kindly drew attention from him by turning 
the conversation to the subject of the present movement. 
He seemed unusually sad on this occasion, and predicted 
that the pending battle would bear decisive fruit. Did the 
weird and invisible angel of mortality display to his inner 
conscience the bills demanded by the grim spectre, on which, 
alas! was traced in ineradicable characters the name of Ben 
McCulloch ? 

Of that we may never know ; but we do know that he 
went to his death in the simple yet sublime perform- 
ance of duty which had always characterized his conduct. 

The battle was opened as General Mcintosh, at the head 
of his cavalry brigade, came on the field, by a Federal bat- 
tery, planted about 400 yards on the right of the Confederate 
front. With his customary gallantry, Mcintosh captured the 
guns ere more than two rounds had been fired, with but 
slight loss. General McCulloch was just passing the Third 
Texas regiment when the first shell fired from the Federal 
battery exploded near. He was riding at the head of a bat- 
tery to the front. He instantly directed General Mcintosh 
to carry the enemy's battery, and caused his own to unlimber 
and wmeel into line. He also instructed Colonel Greer to 
remain with his regiment and support the Confederate bat- 
tery. Seeing the success of Colonel Mcintosh's charge, he 
proceeded with the battery to the front, directing Colonel 
Greer to dismount his men and form them in line just behind 
Pea Ridge. General McCulloch was soon followed by the 
regiments of Hebert, Mitchell, McRae and McNair, which 
were formed into line of battle under his immediate personal 
supervision ; General Mcintosh being engaged in a similar 
duty with regiments of Embry, Churchill, Rector, Whit- 
field's battalion, a little distance from McCulloch's, and 
somewhat in an obtuse angle with his line. Heavy skirmish- 
ing had commenced in front of this latter line, when General 
McCulloch, wishing to ascertain the exact position of the 
enemy in his immediate front, signified his purpose of ven- 
turing a few hundred yards in that direction. He was at 



204 THE LIFE AND SERVICES 

this period, says Colonel John Henry Brown, "in fuller flesh 
than I ever saw him, weighing 160 pounds." He was dressed 
in a well-fitting suit of black velvet, a small, brown, soft hat, 
and boots ; and on that, and the two preceding days, finely 
mounted on a pretty dapple gray, and sometimes on the 
beautiful sorrel from which he xell. He was the personifica- 
tion of splendid manhood, vociferously cheered by Louisi- 
anian, Arkansian and Texian troops wherever he appeared. 
He was their beau ideal of a splendid soldier, as he was of 
some of the Missourians, and would have been of all of 
them but for the lies of military demagogues." In pursuance 
of his purpose to reconnoiter the enemy's position, he in- 
structed his staff to remain behind, saying to Lomax and 
Armstrong, who were about to follow, "You boys remain 
here ; your gray horses will attract the fire of the sharpshoot- 
ers ;" the last words he ever uttered to a friend, — he passed 
quickly out of sight in the dense brush ; and in a few mo. 
ments was heard a volley, fired from at least twenty rifles. 
Mcintosh and Captain Hyams, of the Louisiana regiment, 
though from different points of observation, had kept him in 
distinct view as he rode slowly forward, and witnessed the 
sad catastrophe: being the only Confederates who did. Says 
Colonel John Henry Brown: "A few minutes before his 
death General McCulloch sent me up the line with a message 
to Colonel Hebert. I left him in front of our line, then 
forming in the timber. Lieutenants Lomax and Armstrong 
both told me that immediately after he said, 'I will ride for- 
word a little and reconnoiter the enemy's position.' " 

General Mcintosh galloped down the line, and meeting 
Captain Armstrong, said : "I fear the general is killed — 
a whole company of skirmishers fired upon him ; he clasped the 
pommel of his saddle and fell forward, his horse plunging 
violently." 

Hyams corroborated this, adding: "He fell near a very 
large tree, and his horse ran furiously away." 

Mcintosh at once ordered a charge by the whole line ; 
and with that conspicuous gallantry which was a part of his 
nature, led the foremost, sword in hand. But, alas ! that evil 
fate which had crowned the veteran ranger's long and glo- 
rious career upon this ill-starred field with a hero's death, 



OF GEN. BEN McCULLOCIL 205 

decreed also that the Beau Labrcur of Dixie should no more 
speed, in bold defiance of Death, a suitor to glory's tryst; 
and just as the triumphant shouts of his old regiment an- 
nounced their victory, he fell, in close proximity to the form 
of his chief. Colonel Frank Rector was the first who reached 
the body of General McCulloch, and he at once covered it 
with his cloak, so that the men would not recognize the fea. 
tures ; as none but a very few of the officers knew anything 
of the sad affair. But a soldier near Colonel Rector caught 
a glimpse of the pallid face, and exclaimed in a husky tone, 
sorrow and despair prevailing, "My God! it's poor old 
Ben!" 

There was a strange coincidence in the nature of the 
wounds which thus so quickly deprived the South of two of 
her most faithful pillars. A single minnie, ball entered the 
body of McCulloch from the right side, piercing the heart, 
and lodged in the left side. The charge which entered Mc- 
intosh's body from the left, piercing the heart and lodging in 
the right, was "buck and ball." By the time Colonel Rector 
had performed his hasty duties, as stated, the engagement 
became general, and the enemy were driven some distance 
back; but few of the men, in the hurricane of battle, being 
aware of the fall of either general ; nor did the suspicion dawn 
upon the minds of many until their continued absence forced 
the conclusion that all was not right; and still, without a di- 
recting mind, storm-tossed atoms, drifting and surging hither 
and thither at the sport of the tempest, they struggled heroically 
in the performance of duty with a fidelity that was sublime 
justin proportion to its chaotic confusion and futility! Col- 
onel W. B. Sims, the gallant commander of the Ninth Texas 
cavalry, who had an arm torn away in the charge upon the bat- 
tery some hours before, learning of the disaster, dispatched 
his ambulance for the body of General McCulloch ; and his 
horse, wounded in four places, was afterwards taken from an 
Indian ; several organized hordes of which people — regi- 
ments they were called — were very unwisely brought by the 
order of General Van Dorn on the field, and whose savage 
excesses in scalping and pillaging the dead, of friend or foe, 
recalled to the mind the remonstrance of General McCul- 
loch with the secretary of war against employing these peo- 



206 THE LIFE AND SERVICES 

pie in an invasion of Kansas. Colonel Brown lost no time 
in reaching the rigid, ghastly form of his friend, and all that 
willing hands, prompted by a loving heart, could do, wa s 
done. But, alas! no "open sesame" invoked by human 
tongue could relight those eyes again, or from those pale 
lips summon one word of counsel, O, so sadly needed then! 

Between Ben McCulloch and John Henry Brown a life- 
long friendship, fraternal in strength and as warm as the 
love of Jonathan and David, had existed, — strengthened 
and confirmed by their common trials, dangers and priva- 
tions in the early settlement of Texas, and campaigns against 
the Comanches and Mexicans ; and he whose heart has ever 
moved to the vibrating chords of such a sentiment need not 
to be told with what emotions the survivor gazed upon the 
upturned face of his more than friend or brother on that 
cold March day in the mountains of Northern Arkansas, for 
it is a scene too sacred to be traced for the gratification of 
vulgar curiosity. 

What reminiscences must have adumbrated i upon the 
camera of the brain the shadows of a past — covering many 
years replete with stirring incident and serious episode — as he 
sat in lonely vigil by dead Ben McCulloch, the storm of 
battle raging all around, but on the Southern side, feeling 
grievously the loss of his experienced counsels, whose glassy 
eyes would survey no more an earthly field ! 

Glorious Ben McCulloch! Knightliest Prince 
Paladin that sleeps an Immortal in the Texian Pan- 
theon ! ! Brave and generous as he was pure and simple. 
Be thou to Texian youth an exemplar for all ti?nes; and 
happy he who emulating thy virtues in succeeding genera- 
tions, shall like thyself alone win the heart of Texas whole, 
a special love share\i with none else beside thee I 

Colonel Brown escorted the precious dust of our more 
than Marcellus to the capital of Texas, where, in the pres- 
ence of five thousand tearful listeners, he pronounced his 
apotheosis, and laid him away in the bosom of that Texas 
whom he had loved so well. Never has the death of any 
one, not excepting Rusk and Houston, affected the whole 
population of Texas with a more profound grief. 

It was not until near dark that Colonel Greer received the 



OF GEN BEN McCULL OCH. 207 

news of our misfortunes, though the whole tragedy was 
enacted in the immediate front of his regiment, and distant 
not exceeding eight hundred yards, which seems in- 
explicable. We will present the picture of the unequal 
struggle, as lined by Mr. Tunnard in his admirable history 
of the Third Louisiana infantry: 

"The line was first formed on a high, cone-shaped hill, 
overlooking the valley extending toward the west. Here 
the Confederates were opened upon by a Federal battery. 
The men were ordered to lie down, when the shells passed 
over the line, inflicting no injury. The surrounding country 
was covered with dense brush and heavy timber, interspersed 
with open cornfields, and surrounded by high rocky hills. 
Suddenly the line was opened by a heavy musketry fire, so 
close and deadly that the line wavered and stag- 
gered before the storm, and in some places was thrown into 
considerable confusion. The line was immediately restored 
by Colonel Hebert and Major Tunnard, when a dash was 
made upon the enemy and he was driven from his position. 
Five times he rallied and came to the charge to regain his 
lost ground, and was as often repulsed. It seemed as if 
nothing could restrain the reckless courage and impetuosity of 
the men. O, for an hour of Ben McCulloch then ! The enemy 
retreated to the cover of a masked battery which was planted 
in a thicket skirting a cornfield. So close and hot was the 
pursuit that no opportunity was allowed the gunners to dis- 
charge their pieces. As the men caught sight of the pieces 
they rushed upon them with deafening cheers through the 
cornfield, driving the enemy back with irresistible fury. 
Around these guns the contest raged furiously ; the mus- 
ketry was close, heavy and deadly; but without a com- 
mander — scarce any concert of action — the men stubbornly 
maintained their ground !" 

The line, as may be imagined, was by this time thrown 
into great confusion. The field officers of the Louisiana 
regiment had disappeared, and no superior officer being on 
hand to direct operations, Captain Gunnels, of the Louisiana 
regiment, assisted by other officers of the regiment, suc- 
ceeded in establishing a new line in front ot the captured 
guns in the open field just outside the skirt of woods. An- 



208 T HE LIFE AND SERVICES 

ocher battery now opened on their right far down the field. 
while a regiment of cavalry made a dashing charge through 
a gap in the fence, upon our left and rear. The men, al- 
most exhausted, the line in utter confusion, turned suL 
lenly upon the cavalry like a wild beast driven to bay 
So close and deadly was the fire poured upon the head of 
the cavalry column, that but few of them that entered the 
field left it alive. Men and horses were rolled in deadly 
heaps upon that "hell's half acre." The remainder of the 
cavalry fled precipitately from the scene. 

Several batteries were now brought to bear upon the dis- 
organized mass of brave men, rendered impotent for con- 
cert of action by the loss of their leaders. They fell back 
out of range of the enemy's batteries and were made ac- 
quainted with the fact of the fall of both Generals McCulloch 
and Mcintosh. The Louisiana regiment seemed paralyzed 
by the announcement. McCulloch was their idol, and with 
the men of Greer's regiment they regarded General McCul- 
loch with all the filial love of little children for a kind pa- 
rent. Strong men were bowed down with sorrow, and not 
an eye was dry. Theirs was the grief of the Highlanders 
for their lost Dundee. But they rose with blanched lips and 
swore to avenge his death ; and they did, with usury, on other 
fields ! 

Though the events subsequent to General McCulloch's 
death are, strictly speaking, not properly connected with 
his biography, yet as there was never an official report of the 
operations of McCulloch's division, liberal extracts will be 
made from the history of the Third Louisiana regiment, so 
often quoted heretofore, together with reports of the regi- 
mental officers, as a matter of justice to the brave men who 
struggled on that field with a heroism of the very gamest 
character, though environed by embarrassments sufficient 
to have caused despair in less rugged bosoms. 

The growth of underbrush was so dense on the battle- 
field that the field officers were compelled to dismount. It 
vvas thus that Major Tunnard, with the regimental colors in 
one hand, and his sword in the other, rallied and cheered the 
men, until he sank exhausted to the ground. He sought in 
vain for his horse, after regaining somewhat his breath. The 



OF GEJST. BEN McCULLOCH. 209 

following particulars of his capture were taken from his pri- 
vate diary: "I remained lying on the ground more than an 
hour, not knowing where our forces were, nor whether we 
were victorious or defeated, when I was startled by the ap- 
proach of a regiment. On discovering me, one company 
fired a volley at me, the balls striking all around me, but 
fortunately none hitting my person. I at once waved my 
handkerchief in token of my helpless condition. Lieutenant 
Gale, of the 44th Illinois regiment, rode up to me and de- 
manded my arms, which I handed him. On discovering my 
complete physical exhaustion, he sent for a horse, which I 
mounted, and was escorted to their camp." During the 
fight, the regiments of McRae and Mitchell became disor- 
ganized, and fired several irregular volleys from the rear into 
the ranks of the Louisianians. This confusion on the part of 
these brave and disciplined veteran regiments was caused by 
the demoralization which siezed upon the 'minute men' — 
temporary volunteers — which had flocked to the army, very 
laudably, from the portions of Arkansas occupied or threat- 
ened by the enemy. 

Night drew her sable curtains around the scene, and the 
weary men bivouacked on the field. The beaten enemy did 
not venture to rouse them again. Had the Confederate re- 
serves of McCulloch's division, of which there were at the 
least estimate 5,000 immediately at liand, been ordered to 
the support of the men in front, there can be no question but 
victory must have perched on the Confederate standards. 
There were, available for this purpose, the regiments of 
Colonels Greer, 1,000 strong; Sims, 800 strong; Stone, 1,000 
strong; Young, 800 strong, besides Mcintosh's regiment 
and the remainder of McCulloch's infantry — or fully eight 
thousand Confederate soldiers on the field that did not fire a 
shot! General McCulloch's plan doubtless was to open the 
fight with the three regiments and battery, which he person- 
ally placed in line just before his fall, and call in other reg- 
iments as required. The proximity of Greer's regiment — 
dismounted — is proof that had he lived it would speedily 
have been thrown forward. It is strange that none of the regi- 
mental commanders would assume the command, though to an 



210 THE LIFE AND SERVICES 

fhcer of prompt decision it was the opportunity of a lifetime. 
Colonel Elkanah Greer, commanding the Third regiment of 
Texas cavalry, about nightfall received intelligence confirma- 
tory of the death of Generals McCulloch and Mcintosh, and 
the capture of Colonel Hebert ; and he at once dispatched a 
courier to General Van Dorn, who had accompanied Price's 
division around the right flank and to the enemy's rear. 
General Van Dorn directed the withdrawal of the division, 
and that it should march to the position occupied by Price. 
This movement was executed in the darkness, with perfect 
success, and with no molestation on the part of the enemy. 

General Price had, during the day, driven the main force 
of the enemy before him over a distance of two miles, 
capturing six pieces of artillery and many prisoners. On 
the morning of the Sth the men expected to be led forward 
to the decisive struggle, and all were anxious for the word 
to be given to attack, and enthusiastic in the highest degree, 
never for a moment doubting their ability to wring victory 
from the already half-defeated enemy. 

A. furious canonade was opened upon the enemy's posi- 
tion, and was replied to with vigor, continuing three or four 
hours, when the Confederates withdrew from the field, un- 
pursued by the enemy. 

The wagon trains of McCulloch's division had been or- 
dered south for safety, and the men had received no rations 
in consequence for three days, and, as may be inferred, 
were almost tarnished. 

The gallant Captain T. B. Gilmore, of the Louisiana 
tegiment, sank under the effects of this prolonged fast and 
his superhuman efforts on the field, and his men placed him, 
faint and weak, into an ambulance procured for the pur- 
pose. 

The hungry men could not be kept in ranks, but 
straggled along the byways diverging from the Van 
Buren road, in quest of something to eat, and through 
this cause the infantry column presented a quite dis- 
organized aspect. Says Mr. Tunnard : "Every byway 
and highway, mansion and cottage, were filled by hun- 
gry men seeking something to eat. They ravenously 
devoured everything they could procure — raw corn, po- 



OF GEN BEN McCULLOCH. 211 

tatoes, turnips, etc. But if one was fortunate enough to 
find a few morsels of bread, or meat, it was generously 
divided among his comrades. At a deserted house stood a 
slop barrel, which was upset, when the famishing men 
scrambled for the contents like a drove of hogs. The corn 
cribs along the road had been seized by the cavalry of Gen- 
eral Rains to secure provender for their horses, sentinels be- 
ing posted to guard the corn. Af Van Winkle's Mills one 
of the captains of the Louisiana regiment, observing this, 
went among the men, and said: 'Boys, I am going to have 
something to eat if I have to fight the whole d — n'd army. 
Who will join me?' A number volunteering, he proceeded 
to a corn crib and inquired of the sentinels on post: 'Whose 
corn is this?' 'General Rains'.' ' W T hat are you going 
to do with it?' 'Feed the stock.' 'Well, by the eter- 
nal,' replied the captain, ' I have had nothing to eat for 
four days, and I intend to have some of this corn. Stand 
aside and allow me to pass in !' " 

It is needless to say that the captain and his "volunteers'* 
took as much of the crude staff of life as they wished. 

The enemy, depending upon his wagon trains alone for 
the transportation of supplies, was at this time in extremely 
straightened circumstances, which would have converted his 
defeat into irremediable disaster, and should ha*ve operated 
as a powerful incentive to the Confederates to persevere, 
not only to accomplish his defeat, but the capture or disper- 
sion of his forces as well. All this was easily within the 
range of possibility. There can be no doubt but that Gen- 
eral Van Dorn predicated his withdrawal of the army from 
the field upon erroneous information. He was a stranger to 
the organization of the army ; and the divisions of Price and 
McCulloch knew little of each other. But experienced of- 
ficers of the latter's division remained, and had the whole 
been converted into three or four brigades, under Colonels 
W. P. Lane, E. Greer, Churchill and Sims, the division 
would have proved just as efficient on the Sth, or subse- 
quently, for hard fighting, as it ever had. The morale of the 
men was unimpaired. 



21-2 THE LIFE AND SER VICES 

REPORT OF CAPTAIN Gil. MORE, THIRD LOUISIANA REGIMENT. 

Captain Gunnell, Commanding Regiment: — 

Sir — On the morning of March 4th I left camp on Bos- 
ton mountain with my company, numbering sixty-three, rank 
and file, and camped that night within three miles of Fay- 
etteville. Resumed the march with the regiment in the 
morning, camping that night at Elm Spring, the men being 
very much fatigued, and many having their feet badly blis- 
tered. Resumed the line of march on the morning of the 
6th, halting at Sugar Creek for a short time in the evening. 
Continued the march and arrived at a point three miles 
south of Camp McCulloch at 2 a. m. The men were very 
much worn out, not having had much to «at since leaving 
Boston mountain. The weather being very cold, and the men 
without blankets, they had but little sleep, and were in con- 
sequence in a poor condition to resume the march that morn- 
ing. When the call was sounded, however, the men fell in 
to a man. We proceeded to within a short distance of the 
telegraph road, when we were countermarched three miles. 
We filed to the left, and, while marching through a lane, 
were fired on by a masked battery about 300 yards distant 
on our right. The company was thrown into a little con- 
fusion, not expecting an attack from that quarter, but from 
which they soon recovered. We then marched a short dis- 
tance up the lane when we were fired on by a mountain 
nowitzer, stationed on a hill on our right. We then filed to 
the right and marched up the side of a hill, where we halted. 
Soon heavy firing of small arms was heard in front, and the 
regiment was ordered forward. We had not proceeded far 
when we were fired on by a body of the enemy's infantry 
from a thicket on our left. We moved in the direction of 
the enemy, when heavy firing ensued from both sides. Owing 
to the dense undergrowth we could not advance in regular 
line of battle, and became somewhat mixed up with other 
troops which rushed through our ranks. After the enemy 
had been driven back we were fired on by a battery planted 
on our right. We were then ordered and led by Colonel 
Hebert to charge the guns. Here the "Rangers" became 
mixed up with other companies of the regiment and some 
Arkansas troops, and I was unable to get the whole company 
again during the day. After the battery was taken we were 
fired on from the woods to the left of the battery. Here 
considerable confusion ensued, caused by the intermingling 
of tne troops of different regiments, but the enemy was, 
nevertheless, driven back. I here made an effort to reform 
the company, but had only partly succeeded when it was dis- 
covered that a large body of the enemy's cavalry was flank- 
ing us on the right. We moved in that direction to a fence. 



OF GEN. BEN McCULLOCH. 213 

The cavalry charged us at this point, but were repulsed with 
considerable loss. I was here ordered by Captain Gunnell, 
senior captain commanding, to march to the left into the 
thicket to meet a large body of infantry that was advancing 
upon us in that direction. I had not proceeded far when 
a heavy fire of musketry was opened on us. A desperate 
fight ensued ; but we succeeded in driving the enemy back 
with much loss. In this engagement the men showed the 
greatest bravery, and did the coolest, most determined fight- 
ing that I ever witnessed. At the flash of the enemy's guns 
the men would rush madly on them, dislodging them from 
behind logs, stumps and trees, and shooting them at almost 
every step. About 250 Louisiana and Arkansas troops were 
engaged here, and during the fight became separated from 
the remainder of the command. Being the senior officer 
present, at the request of the men, I assumed command of 
the detachment and promptly proceeded to form a line of 
battle, assisted by Lieutenants Gentles and Morse, of the Lou- 
isiana regiment, and Hubbs, of McRea's regiment, but had 
only partially succeeded when the enemy flanked our left in 
considerable force. We at once charged them and succeeded 
in driving them back, inflicting on them heavy loss ; the 
above officers bearing themselves with great bravery and 
coolness. I particularly noticed the conduct of Lieut. 
Henry Gentles, who at times I saw in the front ranks, using 
his gun with deadly effect, and at other times rallying the 
men and cheering them on. I then took the flag and re- 
formed the men, when we started for the field we had left in 
the morning. On our way out we had a slight skirmish, but 
proceeded, picking up along the way all our men who had 
broken down during the fighting, so when we reached the 
field the detachment numbered 500 or 700 men, composed of 
the various regiments engaged in the fight that day. Here 
I ordered the men of other regiments to their respective com- 
mands, and with the Louisianians rejoined the regiment at 
the hospital on the road. My men were badly used up. 
Some were unable to proceed with the regiment; others went 
in search of food and failed to rejoin the command next 
morning. I never saw men so completely worn out from 
hrtnger and fatigue. We slept on our arms that night until 
3 a. m., when we marched to General Price's line on the 
telegraph- road. We were ordered to a hill on the left of 
the road, and remained there during a heavy cannonade, when 
we were ordered from the field, retiring in perfect order. I 
have the honor to be your obedient servant, 

J. B. Gilmore, 
Capt. Com'd'g Shreveport Rangers. 



214 THE LIFE AND SER VICES 

general van dorn's report. 
Headquarters Trans-Mississippi District, i 
Jacksonsport, Ark., March 27, 1862. ) 

Colonel — I have the honor to report that, while at 
Pocahontas, I received dispatches on the 22d of February 
informing me that General Price had rapidly fallen back 
from Springfield before a superior force of the enemy, and 
was endeavoring to form a junction with the division ot 
General McCulloch in the Boston mountains ; and for rea- 
sons which seemed to be imperative, I resolved to go in per- 
son and take command of the combined forces of Price and 
McCulloch. I reached their headquarters on the 3d of March, 
and being satisfied that the enemy, who had halted on Sugar 
Creek, was only waiting large reinforcements before he would 
advance, I resolved to attack him at once. Accordingly I 
sent for General Pike to join me with the forces under his 
command, and on the morning of the 4th of March moved 
with the divisions of Price and McCulloch, by way of Fay- 
etteville and Bentonville, to attack the enemy's main camp on 
Sugar Creek. On the 6th we left Elm Spring for Benton- 
ville, and from prisoners captured by our scouting parties on 
the 5th, I became convinced that, up to that time, no suspi- 
cions were entertained of our advance, and there were 
strong hopes of our effecting a complete surprise and attack- 
ing the enemy before the large detachments encamped at the 
various points in the surrounding country could rejoin the 
main body. I therefore endeavored to reach Bentonville, 
eleven miles distant, by a rapid march ; but the troops moved 
so slowly that it was 11 a. m. before the head of the leading 
division, Price's, reached the village, and we had the morti- 
fication of seeing Sigel's division, 7,000 strong, leaving it as 
we entered. Had we been one hour sooner we should have 
cut him off with his whole force, and certainly have beaten 
the enemy the next day. We followed him, our advance 
skirmishing with his rear guard, which was admirably han- 
dled, until we had gained a point on Sugar Creek, about 
seven miles beyond Bentonville, and within one or two miles 
of the strongly entrenched camp of the enemy. 

In conference with Generals McCulloch and Mcintosh, 
who had accurate knowledge of this locality, I had ascer- 
tained that by making a detour of eight miles, I could reach 
the telegraph road leading from Springfield to Fayetteville T 
and be immediately in the rear of the enemy and his in- 
trenchments. I had resolved to adopt this route, and there- 
fore halted the head of the column near the point where the 
road by which I proposed to move diverges, threw out my 
pickets and bivouacked as for the night. But soon after 
dark I marched again, with Price's division in advance, and 



OF GEN. BEN McCULLOCIL 215 

taking the road by which I hoped to gain the rear of the 
enemy before daylight. Some obstructions which he had has- 
tily thrown in our way so impeded our march that we did not 
gain the telegraph road until nearly 10 a. m. of the 7th. 
From prisoners with forage wagons whom our cavalry pickets 
brought in, we were assured that we were not expected in 
that quarter, and the promise was fair for a complete sur- 
prise. I at once made dispositions for attack, and directing 
General Price to move forward cautiously, soon drew the 
fire of a few skirmishers, who were rapidly reinforced, so 
that before 11 o'clock we were fairly engaged, the enemy 
holding very good positions and maintaining a heavy fire of 
artillery and small arms upon the constantly advancing col- 
umns which were being pressed upon him. I had directed 
General McCullcch to attack with his forces the enemy's 
left, and before 10 o'clock it was evideut that, if his division 
could advance, or even maintain his ground, I could at once 
throw forward Price's left, advance his whole line and end 
the battle. I sent him a dispatch to this effect, but it was 
never received by him. Before it was penned his brave 
spirit had winged its flight, and one of the most gallant lead- 
ers of the Confederacy had fought his last battle. 

About 3 p. m. I received by aids-de-camp the information 
that Generals McCulloch and Mcintosh and Colonel Hebert 
(incorrect) were killed, and that the division was without a 
head. I nevertheless pressed forward with the attack, and 
at sunset the enemy was flying before our victorious troops 
at every point in our front, and when night fell we had 
driven him entirely from the field. Our troops slept upon 
their arms nearly a mile beyond the point where he had made 
his last stand, and my headquarters were for the night at Elk 
Horn Tavern. We had taken during the day seven cannon 
and about two hundred prisoners. In the course of the night 
I ascertained that the ammunition was almost exhausted, and 
that the officer in charge of the ordnance supplies could not 
find his wagons, which, with the subsistence train, had been 
sent to Bentonville. Most of the troops had been without 
food since the morning of the 6th, and the' artillery horses 
were beaten out. It was, therefore, with no little auxiety 
that I awaited the dawn of day. When it came, it revealed 
the enemy in a new and strong position, offering battle. I 
made my dispositions at once to accept the gage, and by 7 
o'clock the cannonading was as heavy as on the previous 
day. On the side of the enemy the fire was much better 
sustained ; for, being freed from the attack of my right wing, 
he could now concentrate his whole artillery. Finding that 
my right wing was very much disorganized, and that the 
batteries, one after another, were retiring from the field, 



216 THE LIFE AND SERVICES 

with every shot expended, I resolved to withdraw the army, 
and at once placed the ambulances, with all the wounded 
they could bear, upon the Huntsville road, and a portion of 
McCulloch's division, which had joined me during the night, 
in position to follow, while I so disposed of my remaining 
forces as best to deceive the enemy as to my intention, and 
hold him in check while executing it. About 10 o'clock I 
gave the order for the column to inarch, and soon afterward 
for the troops engaged to fall back and cover the rear of the 
enemy. This was done very steadily ; no attempt was made 
by the enemy to follow us, and we encamped about 3 p. m. 
ten miles from the field of battle. Some demonstrations' 
were made by his cavalry upon my baggage trains, and the 
batteries of artillery, which returned by different "routes from 
that taken by the army ; but they were instantly checked, 
and, thanks to the skill and courage of Colonel Stone, of the 
Sixth Texas cavalry, and Major Wade, all the baggage and 
artillery joined the army in safety. 

So far as I can ascertain, our losses amounted to about 
600 killed and wounded, and 200 prisoners, and one cannon 
which having become disabled, I ordered to be thrown into 
a ravine. The best information that I could procure of the 
enemy's loss places his killed at more than 700, with at least 
an equal number wounded. We captured about 300 prison- 
ers — so that his total loss is about 2,000. We brought away 
four cannon and ten baggage wagons, and we burnt upon the 
field three cannon taken by Mcintosh in his brilliant charge. 
The horses having been killed, these guns could not be 
brought away. 

The force with which I went into the action was less than 
14,000; that of the enemy variously estimated at from 17,000 
to 24,000. During the whole of this engagement I was with 
the Missouri division, under Price, and I have never seen 
better fighters than those Missouri troops, or more gallant 
leaders than General Price and his officers. From the first 
to the last shot they continually pushed on, and never yielded 
an inch they had won ; and when at last they received the 
order to fall back, they retired steadily, and with cheers. 
General Price received a severe wound early in the action ; 
but would neither retire from the field, nor cease to expose 
himself to danger. 

No successes can repair the loss of the gallant dead who 
fell upon this well fought field. McCulloch was the first to 
fall. I had found him, in the frequent conferences I had 
with him, a sagacious, prudent counsellor, and a bolder sol- 
dier never died for his country. 

Mcintosh had been very distinguished through all the 
operations which had taken place in this region ; and during 



OF GEN BEN Mc CUL LOCTL 217 

my advance from Boston mountain J placed him in com- 
mand of the cavalry brigade, and in charge of the pickets. 
He was alert, daring, and devoted to his duty. His kind- 
ness of disposition, with his reckless bravery, had attached 
the troops strongly to him ; so that after McCulloch fell, had 
he remained to lead them, all would have been well wi.th 
my right wing; but after leading a brilliant charge of cav- 
alry, and carrying the enemy's battery, he rushed in to the 
thick of the fight again at the head of his old regiment and 
was shot through the heart. The value of these two officers 
was but proven by the effect of their fall on the troops. So 
long as brave deeds are admired by our countrymen, the 
names of McCulloch and Mcintosh will be remembered and 
loved. General Slack, after gallantly maintaining a con- 
tinued and successful attack, was shot through the body ; but 
I hope his distinguished services will be restored to his coun- 
try. A noble boy, Churchill Clark, commanding a bat- 
tery of artillery during the fierce actions of the 7th 
and 8th, was conspicuous for the daring and skill which he 
exhibited. He fell at the very close of the action. Colonel 
Rivers fell mortally wounded about the same time, and was 
a great loss to us. On a field where were many gallant gen- 
tlemen, I remember him as one of the most energetic and 
devoted of them all. To Colonel Henry Little my especial 
thanks are due for the coolness, skill and devotion with which 
he and his gallant brigade bore the brunt of the battle. 
Colonel Burbridge, Colonel Rosser, Colonel Gates, Major 
Lawtlier, Major Wade, Captain McDonald and Captain 
Shaumberg are some of those who attracted my attention by 
their distinguished conduct. 

In McCulloch's division, the Third Louisiana regiment, 
under Colonel Louis Hebert, and Colonel McRae's Arkan- 
sas regiment, are especially mentioned for their good con- 
duct. 

Major Montgomery, Captain Bradfute, Lieutenants Lo- 
max, Kimmel, Dillon and Frank Armstrong, A. A. G., 
were ever active and soldierly. After their services were no 
longer required with their own division, they joined my staff, 
and I am much indebted to them for the efficient aid they 
gave me through the engagement of the 8th. They are 
meritorious officers, whose value is lost to the service by 
their not receiving rank more accordant with their merit and 
experience than they now hold. Being without my proper 
staff, I was much gratified by the offer of Colonel Shands 
and Captain Barrett, of the Missouri army, of their services 
as aids. They were of yery great assistance to me by the 
courage and intelligence with which they bore my orders; 
laso, Colonel Lewis, of Missouri. None of the gentlemen 



21 8 THE LIFE AND SERVICES 

of my personal staff, with the exception of Colonel Maury, 
A. A. G., and Lieutenant C. Sullivan, my aid-de-camp, ac- 
companied me from Jacksonsport, the others remaining on 
special duty. Colonel Maury was of invaluable service to 
me, both in preparing for and in the battle. There, as on 
other battle fields where I have served with him, he proved 
to be a zealous patriot and true soldier. Cool and calm 
under all circumstances, he was always ready either with his 
sword or his pen. His, and the services of Lieutenant Sul- 
livan, are distinguished; the latter had his horse killed under 
him while leading a charge, the order for which he had just 
delivered. 

You will perceive, colonel, from this report, that al- 
though I did not capture, as I hoped, or destroy the enemy's 
army in Western Arkansas, I have inflicted upon it a heavy 
blow, and compelled him to fall back into Missouri ; this he 
did about the ioth inst. For further details concerning this 
action, and for more particular notice of the troops engaged, 
I refer you to the reports of the subordinate officers which ac- 
companies this report. Very respectfully, sir, your obedient 
servant, Earl Van Dorn, Major General. 

Col. W. W. Mackall, A. A. G. 



reports of elkanah greer, colonel commanding third 
texas cavalry. 
Headquarters Third Texas Cavalry, \ 
Cantonment Wigfall, Ark., March — , 1S62. ) 
On the 3rd inst. we were ordered to take up the line of 
march early the next morning toward the enemy, General 
Mcintosh's brigade to take the advance. At 7 o'clock on 
the morning of the 4th we l*»ft our encampment on Boston 
mountains, my regiment going in advance. That night we 
encamped near Fayetteville. The day had been very cold, 
with quite a snow-storm during the morning. After leav- 
ing Fayetteville, General Mcintosh's brigade, which was 
composed exclusively of cavalry, marched up the telegraph 
or Springfield road for four miles, while General Price's di- 
vision, with the rest of our army, was ordered up the Elm 
Springs road. Four miles from Fayetteville Colonel Stone 
was ordered with his regiment to proceed a few miles further 
up the telegraph road, where he would remain during the 
night, and rejoin our forces the next day. The rest of Gen- 
eral Mcintosh's brigade turned to the left, and after carefully 
reconnoitering the country, and getting all the information 
we could of the enemy, joined the main body of our army 
at Elm Springs. Considerable snow fell again that night. 
At 3 a. m. of the 6th inst. we left Elm Springs, this regi- 



OF GEN BEN McCULLOCIL 219 

ment still in advance. When we had gone two miles we 
learned that our pickets had exchanged shots with the enemy 
during the night. We arrived at Smith's mill about sunrise, 
and here learned that 1,000 Federal infantry had left that 
place at i a. m. and had gone in the direction of Benton- 
ville. On approaching Bentonville, from the smoke it was 
evident the enemy had fired a portion of the town, and were 
destroying some of their supplies, etc. The cavalry were 
halted in the prairie, two and a half miles south of Benton- 
ville, in view of the town, a short time, for consultation, 
thus affording the rest of our army time to close up. It was 
agreed that Colonel Gates, with his command, should move 
around to the east of the town, and that General Mcintosh, 
with his command, should go to the west. 

Our advance guard had in the meantime approached near 
the town. When we had got immediately west of the town 
several men were sent up to reconnoiter the enemy. They 
soon returned and reported a considerable force of the enemy 
formed on the public square. General Mcintosh, feeling 
confident that the enemy would take what is kncwn as the 
Camp Stevens road, determined to get in the rear of them. 
Owing to the broken, rocky and mountainous character of 
the country north of town, and the absence of a road leading 
from where* we were to cross to the Camp Stevens road, we 
found it impossible to reach that road nearer than four miles 
from Bentonville, and then only by traveling a very circui- 
tous route. W T hen we did reach it, it was in a rough, moun- 
tainous country, On our right there was a mountain the en- 
tire length of the brigade. The Camp Stevens road passed 
to the east of this mountain. J. S. Boggess, with twenty 
men, was ahead as an advance picket. Near the Camp 
Stevens road they came suddenly on a small picket of the 
enemy, and at once gave General Mcintosh notice of it. 
About this time the pickets fired at each other. General 
Mcintosh i-ode forward and ordered the advance to charge. 
This was done as effectually as possible under the circum- 
stances. The enemy proved to be in strong force in the hol- 
low near which the road they were traveling ran. My regi- 
ment was formed by fours at the time, and in this manner 
went into the charge. Considering the ambuscade they had 
prepared for us, and the number of shots fired by them, it 
seems almost like a miracle that more of my men or horses 
were not either killed or wounded. The force charged by 
us must have been 4000 or 5000 strong, composed of in- 
fantry, cavalry and artillery. After making two attempts 
to charge them, I discovered at the rear of the column that 
Colonel Young's regiment had obliqued to the right on the 
mountain. I at once ordered Lieutenant Colonel Dimond, 



220 THE LIFE AND SERVICES 

with a portion of his command, to oblique to the left, form r 
and charge the enemy, which was promptly done. It was ev- 
ident that the enemy were in strong position in the rough r 
rocky gorges near the road, and about this time considerable 
bodies of infantry, which had already passed, were seen re- 
turning with several pieces of artillery, thus increasing their 
force several thousand. Owing to the unevenness of the 
ground, and the strong position held by them, we were forced 
to retire by the right. We formed on the next ridge. At 
this time General Mcintosh rode up and ordered us to fall 
back in the direction of Bentonville. The loss of the enemy 
in this affair must have been greater than ours. The army, 
soon after this, coming up, engaged the enemy for several 
miles, principally with artillery. We reached Camp Stevens 
late in the evening, the men and horses considerably fatigued 
from exertion and extreme cold. Before our wagons had ar- 
rived, we were ordered to take up the line of march, the men 
not having had time to prepare anything to eat. We moved 
only a few miles during the night, the regiments, however, 
keeping their positions in line. Next morning we moved 
slowly, giving General Price, with his division, time to reach 
the telegraph road, in rear of the enemy, and commence the 
attack. Early in the morning we heard some skirmishing of 
small arms. Soon both sides opened fire with their cannon. 
At this time General McCulloch gave orders that the in- 
fantry be moved forward to the left, and that the different 
cavalry regiments be moved up in parallel lines to the right 
of the infantry, the heads of the different columns leading 
toward the telegraph road, or Elk Horn tavern. We were 
at this time in an open field. West of it the country was in- 
clined to be a level ridge, known as Pea Ridge; north and 
east of it was a high mountain, and beyond this mountain 
was the telegraph road. Nearly east of us, about one and a 
half miles, was Elk Horn tavern ; south of the field the coun- 
try was broken and hilly, and densely covered with heavy 
underbrush and large timbers. Here the enemy opened fire 
upon us with a masked battery of three pieces, in a south- 
westerly direction from us. This battery was supported by 
heavy bodies of infantry and cavalry. General Mcintosh at 
once ordered the different cavalry regiments to charge them. 
The head of my command, which was near General McCul- 
loch and his staff at this time, wheeled to the right, com- 
mencing the charge, when General McCulloch, in person, 
ordered me to halt my command, remain and cover his posi- 
tion. The charge was gallantly made by the rest of the cav- 
alry, the cannon were captured, and the infantry and cavalry 
supporting them completely routed and dispersed. Lieu- 
tenant Colonel Lane, of my command, joined in the charge, 



OF GEN. BEN McCULLOCH. 221 

and afterwards performed good service in aiding and assist- 
ing in dismounting and forming the cavalry. At this time 
General McCulloch ordered some one to throw his pieces in 
battery, ready to open fire upon the enemy in the direction ; 
at the same time ordering me to form my regiment on the 
left of it. This was done. Soon afterwards I was ordered 
to dismount my command, and hold at all hazards a hill 
which was the most prominent position on the battle-field. 
This hill commanded our portion of the field. Leaving oui 
horses in the rear, we took position on the hill. I soon found 
the enemy had range of the same from their batteries beyond 
it. Here we remained during the engagement on our side of 
the field, anxiously awaiting orders. I dispatched several 
messengers for orders, but could not learn the whereabouts 
of either of the generals. Soon after these messages were 
dispatched by me, the adjutant general rode r up. I asked 
him where General McCulloch was. He replied that if the 
troops down on the right did not do better than they had 
done for the last few moments I had best move my command. 
Soon afterwards Colonel McRae passed us on our left. He 
stated that the enemy were advancing in overwhelming force. 
About this time heavy bodies of our infantry, cavalry and artil- 
lery were seen moving to our rear. After a consultation with my 
officers, and finding it impossible to receive any orders from 
either Generals McCullocn or Mcintosh, I moved my regi- 
ment back to their horses, and took position in the field near 
where we were in the morning when the masked battery of 
the enemy opened upon us. I then went in person in search of 
Generals McCulloch and Mcintosh. I soon met with the 
staff of the two generals, who informed me that each one of 
them was dead, and that I was the senior officer of the field. 
I made inquiry for Brigadier-General Pike, and was informed 
that he was not present. The firing had ceased on both sides 
before this. I at once assumed command of our remaining 
forces on the field. The following is a list of the killed and 
wounded of my command in the two engagements : [Nom- 
inal list shows the loss is two killed and twelve wounded.] 
In conclusion, I deem it my duty to notice the gallant beai- 
ing and conduct throughout the engagement, of Lieutenant- 
Colonel Lane, Major G. W. Chilton, Adjutant M. D. Ector, 
Captains R. H. Cumby, T. W. Winston, J. A. J. Barker, 
Lieutenants J. S. Boggess, J. P. McKay and others. As a 
general thing both the officers and privates of my command 
acquitted themselves with great gallantry and coolness 
throughout the engagement. E. Greer, 

Colonel Commanding Third Texas Cavalry. 
Colonel D. H. Maury, 

Adjutant-General Trans-Mississippi District. 



222 THE LIFE AND SERVICES 

Heaihjuarter? First Cavalry Brigade, ) 
March 19, 1862. J 

I have the honor of submitting to you the following re- 
port of the action of the forces under my command in the 
battle of the 7th and 8th instants: 

Early in the engagement my command had been assigned 
a position by General McCulloch on the field to be held at 
all hazards. Repeatedly during the day I sent messengers 
forward to General McCulloch and Mcintosh. Not being 
able to find them, and growing impatient from long delay, 
I ordered my regiment to horse, and moved them in the cen- 
ter of the field, and then went in search of the generals my- 
self. Meeting with the staff of the two generals, I was then 
for the first time informed that they were dead, and that I 
was senior officer on the field. 

My first inquiry was for Brigadier-General Pike. I was 
informed that he had left the field, and, as I afterwards 
learned, with a great portion of the division. I at once as- 
sumed command of all the forces remaining on the field, 
sending Captain Dodson to the rear to halt and bring back 
the different commands that were moving, with the deter- 
mination, as I understood, of going around and joining Gen- 
eral Price's division. About this time I received a note from 
the commanding general, addressed to General McCulloch, 
containing information that the enemy had been driven back 
on the left. Later, some one came from the commanding 
general, and stated that he desired we should hold our posi- 
tion. Being unexpectedly placed in command, and having had 
no intimation of the general plan of attack, seeing but few 
troops on the field, and not knowing the whereabouts of the 
remainder, I took a view of the field and its surroundings. 

I discovered Captain Hart's battery of four pieces on a 
hill in close proximity to the enemy, unsupported by any of 
our troops. Soon after the discovery, Captain Hart opened 
a heavy fire on the advancing forces from the other side of 
the hill. I moved my regiment rapidly up to that point, and 
ordered Captain Hart to move his battery some 400 or 500 
yards, while my cavalry would cover his rear. About this 
time I learned that Colonel Stone's regiment had left for the 
train, and feeling apprehensive that the enemy would send a 
considerable force and destroy it, I ordered Major Brooks, 
with his battalion, to form a junction with Colonel Stone's 
forces for its protection. After remaining here for some 
time I carefully examined our position and available forces 
present, who had free access to all the commanding points 
to the south of us. I ordered the troops under my command 
to bivouac for the night. Soon after this order was given, 
Captain Bradfute suggested, as we were not prepared to re- 



OF GEN BEN Mc CULL O CH. 223 

move the battery which had been captured from the enemy 
in the early part of the engagement, that a detail be at once 
sent back to immediately disable or destroy it. I dispatched 
two companies for this purpose. Large heaps ot rails were 
piled around and upon the guns, fire set to them, and in this 
manner these cannon were effectually disabled. My force 
at this time, as reported to me, consisted of the Third Louis- 
iana regiment of infantry, Colonels McNair's, McRea's 
and Mitchell's regiments of Arkansas infantry, Colonel 
Young's regiment of cavalry, commanded by Lieutenant- 
Colonel Dimond ; Colonel Sims' regiment, commanded at 
that time by Lieutenant-Colonel Quayle, Colonel Sims hav- 
ing been wounded in the morning; Colonel Embry's regi- 
ment, and my own, the Third Texas cavalry, with Captain 
Hart's battery of four prices. These constituted my entire 
command remaining on the field. The most of these regi- 
ments went into the engagement with greatly reduced num- 
bers, and came out mere skeletons. My effective force could 
not have exceeded 3,000 men, and they were exhausted with 
fatigue and the want of good food and water. 

At 10 o'clock, after consultation with all the principal 
officers around me, I determined to issue the order to take 
up the line of march at 1 a. m., and join General Price's 
division. Dispatching a messenger with a statement of 
our condition, the number of my forces, accom- 
panied by a copy of the order of march to the 
general commanding, giving time to return before 1 
a. m., in case it did not meet with his approbation. 
The messsenger returned before the above stated hour with 
an order to move as soon and as rapidly as possible, and take 
a position on the telegraph road. At 1:30 we took up the 
line ot march, and before day reached the telegraph road, 
and there awaited further orders. About sunrise an order 
reached me from the commander-in-chief, stating that the 
enemy was advancing. A guide was sent to conduct me to 
a position on the left of our army. When I reached a point 
not exceeding a mile from the right wing of our army, the 
fight was renewed by heavy cannonading on both sides. 
Very soon I reached my position on the left, forming the in- 
fantry regiments in two parallel lines, and the cavalry in the 
same way, with the head of these columns resting on the 
right of the infantry. I was instructed then to hold this 
position, and await further orders. After remaining in this 
position about two hours, an order was received by me from 
the commanding general to fall back on the Huntsville road, 
some mile or mile and a half, leaving one regiment of cav- 
alry on the ground to take position to relieve Colonel Little, 
who was covering our rear. When at the distance of about 



'224 



TUB LIFE AND SERVICES 



a mile an order reached me from the commanding general, 
directing me to close up my infantry and move down the 
road, keeping the cavalry on the right and left of the 
road, out ot the way of the troops in the rear. 

It is with great pleasure I would bring to your favorable 
notice the names of Captains Bradfute, Dotson, Frank Arm- 
strong and Hardeman, Major Montgomery, Lieutenants 
Hyams and Edwards. These officers aided and assisted me 
on the evening of the 7th and on the Sth. Captain Dotson, 
aid-de-camp, and Captain Bradfute, as adjutant general, 
were prompt and efficient in assisting me in forming the 
division in line of battle, and they both deserve great credit 
for their coolness and energy, yours very respectfully, 

E. Greer, 
Colonel Commanding Division. 
Colonel D. H. Maury, A. G. Trans-Mississippi Division. 

The reports of Colonel Evander McNair, Colonel B. W. 
Stone and Lieutenant-Colonel W. P. Lane, to be found in 
the "War of the Rebellion," fully confirm the foregoing, 
and it would be a tedious and useless repetition to reproduce 
them in this connection. The regiments composing Greer's 
brigade came out of the action in a more or less disorgan- 
ized condition ; but there were not present the least evidences 
of demoralization, and they went into line of battle on the 
morning of the Sth with admirable discipline, the fruit of 
General McCulloch's assiduous labors the past year. 

From General Pike's report — too long for quotation — wo 
learn that other regiments were more seriously affected by 
the reverse to our arms, and we read with surprise that Col- 
onel , of Arkansas, consulted General Pike in regard to 

the desirableness of marching his regiment to the mountains, 
concealing the arms and disbanding the men ; and that the 
general counseled such a course as the most proper under 
the circumstances. 

The fatal consequences which flowed from the untimely 
fall of General McCulloch, attest his worth in a far more 
emphatic manner than any words which could be added to 
the foregoing narrative of facts. General McCulloch, im- 
mediately upon the arrival of Van Dorn, submitted a pro- 
posed plan of operations designed to compensate the Con- 
federates for their paucity of numbers, by inaugurating an 
aggressive defensive policy, which it was purposed should 



OF GEN BEN McCULLOCH. 225 

first cripple the enemy by the destruction of his subsistence 
train ; harrass him so as to prevent foraging on the country, 
and thus force him to battle under circumstances which could 
but prove disastrous to him. He proposed to take 5000 cav- 
alry, composed of the regiments of Greer, Sims, Stone, 
Young, McCulloch and other Missourians, and penetrate the 
country in General Curtis' rear; burn the wagons en route 
to and from Springfield, estimated to be at least 250 all the 
^ime; and then by a rapid movement take the town, which 
was the immediate base of operations ; destroy the stores 
there collected, an 1 continue the work of destruction upon 
the interminable wagon trains en route between Springfield 
and Rolla. In the meantime the Southern army was to act 
upon the defensive, declining general engagement, but pun- 
ishing any detached column of the enemy, until his return, 
when the demoralized enemy could be attacked and defeated. 
Col. L. M. Martin, of Dallas, Texas, who was a prisoner 
in the camp of General Curtis at the time, feels quite sure 
that such operations would have proved fatal to the enemy, 
dependent solely upon wagon trains, hauling supplies hun- 
dreds of miles. 



226 THE LIFE AND SERVICES 



CHAPTER X. 



BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH OF JOHN HENRY BROWN, OF DAL- 
LAS, TEXAS, AID-DE-CAMP TO GENERAL M'CULLOCH. 



The biography of meritorious and useful men, whose 
lives have been checkered with a variety of important events, 
is always interesting. Especially is this true of those who 
have figured honorably and usefully in the settlement, de- 
fense and development of American frontier regions, and in 
none more so than in Texas. The subject of this memoir is 
of this class, and so recognized by the people of this State. 

John Henry Brown was born in the wilds of the terri- 
tory of Missouri, in the county of Pike, October 29, 1820, 
five months before that territory became a state of the Union. 
His parents were both natives of Kentucky, and were, at 
the time mentioned, well-to-do, owning a good farm, slaves 
and fine stock in horses and cattle. 

Captain Henry S. Brown, his father, was a man of un- 
daunted nerve, great enterprise and full of adventure, but 
gentle and warm-hearted ; a man who involuntarily became 
a leader wherever hazards vvere at stake; was fond of fron- 
tier life, a fearless leader in Indian conflicts, and as cunning 
in the wilderness as the red man. He won fine reputation as 
a youthful soldier in the war of 1812, serving against the In- 
dians in Missouri and Illinois. From the close of the war 
till 1824 he traded on the Mississippi to New Orleans, mak- 
ing and loosing large sums for that day. A series oflosses 



OF GEN. BEN McCULLOCll. 227 

by wrecks in 1822-3-4 so embarrassed him that in December, 
1824, he entered Texas as an Indian and Mexican trader, and 
for ten years was chiefly so engaged, being four times robbed 
of his entire caravan between the Guadalupe and the Rio 
Grande. He often commanded companies against the In- 
dians, first defeating them where Waco now stands, in 1825, 
north of San Antonio in 1S27, on the Nueces in 182S, at the 
mouth of Pecan bayou in 1829, and on the Medina in 1833. 
On the 26th of June, 1S32, he commanded the largest com- 
pany, made up of men and boys, in the battle of Velasco? 
where Col. Domingo Ugartechea, of the Mexican army, surren- 
dered the fort, and 300 men to 130 Texians. Captain Brown 
died suddenly in Brazoria, July 26, 1834. Brown county, 
created in 1856, was named in his honor, at the request of 
many old citizens, among whom were Governor E. M. Pease, 
Edwin Waller, James Armstrong and nearly all the old set- 
tlers of Brazoria, San Felipe and Gonzales. His father, 
Caleb Brown, was born in Maryland, was a soldier in the 
revolution, having been born in 1759, married in that state 
Jemima, daughter of Col. Henry Stephenson, an officer 
in the Maryland line, and died in Kentucky in 1S37. His 
grandfather, Col. Edward Brown, was also born in Mary- 
land in 1734, commanded a Maryland regiment in the 
revolution, married Margaret Durbin, of the same state, re- 
moved to Kentucky in 1780, and died there in 1823, where 
his grandson, Henry S., was born March 8, 1793. The 
father and grandfather of Col. Edward Brown, were 
also born in Maryland, the first of the family coming across 
the ocean in the time of Lord Baltimore. 

Capt. Henry S. Brown married in St. Charles county, 
Missouri, in 18 14, Mrs. Margaret Jones, the widow of Mr. 
Richard Jones, a Marylander, by whom she had five children 
— by Captain Brown, four. She was the daughter of Elder 
James Kerr, the only child of Irish parents, and was born 
near Danville, Kentucky, her mother being Patience, the 
daughter of Col. Richard Wells, of Maryland, also a 
revolutionary officer, whose kindred are scattered throughout 
the west and southwest, constituting one of the most numer- 
ous families in the Union. Mrs. Brown was a woman 
widely known, respected and loved ; known from her mental 



228 THE LIFE AND SERVICES 

gifts and rare knowledge ; respected for her daily exemplifi- 
cation of true womanhood, and loved for her warm, sympa- 
thizing and charitable nature, displayed without ostentation, 
by habitual acts of kindness. The high sense of honor and 
love of truth, for truth's sake, which governed her own life, 
she inculcated in and exacted from her children. She died 
at her home in Lavaca county, Texas, April 30, 1S61. 

The elder brother, Dr. James Kerr, for whom Kerr county 
was called, was widely known as the first American settler 
of Southwest Texas (in 1825), as the surveyor of De Witt's 
and De Leon colonies, and as a representative man of a high 
order of talent and pure patriotism. He died in 1850. 

It will thus be seen that when but four years old, John 
Henry Brown, with all the intensity of earnest childhood, 
heard of the charms of Texas, and never after considered 
any other place, save the home of childhood, worthy of his 
affections — a passion that has increased with the flight of 
years, and now, at threescore, is rendered sacred by a thou- 
and ties entwined in every lineament of his nature. 

The misfortunes of his parents fell at a time to deny him 
education. Without any whatever, after working on the 
farm till he was twelve years old, he entered a printing office 
in his native county town, under the protection and guidance 
of the afterwards distinguished A. B. Chambers, who so 
long and ably edited the St. Louis Republican. 

In that noble hearted and lamented gentleman he found 
a kind and considerate father, and in his wife, yet surviving, 
a wise, ever tender and model mother, revered, loved and 
honored to this day, as without a superior in all those excel- 
lencies which exalt woman to closer kindship with the angels. 
She was of the Dudley family, of Kentucky, her mother be- 
ing a sister of the celebrated Dr. B. W. Dudley, and her 
father the gallant and lamented Maj. Benjamin Graves 
who, in her infancy, severely wounded, surrendered at the 
capitulation of General Winchester, at the river Raisin, in 
January, 18 13, and was murdered by the Indian allies of the 
British en route to Maiden, Canada. By a prior marriage 
she is the mother of Mr. Lucien Carr, of Cambridge, Mass., 
now distinguished as an explorer of and writer upon the 



OF GEN BEN McCULLOCIL 229 

■ancient mounds in the valley of the Mississippi and else- 
where in the United States. 

Under such auspices, in the purest moral atmosphere, his 
pupilage was passed through the printing office, first in the 
country, next in St. Louis, whither the family removed ; his 
mind, under the influence of this honored couple, was di- 
rected to the acquisition of useful knowledge — much from 
books — having previously mastered the grammar of our own 
language and acquired a knowledge of mathematics, and 
much also from intercourse with them and the educated and 
refined circles always so intimately associated with them. 
With this training, and having already learned all that could 
then be known of Texas, he made it his permanent and ac- 
tual home while still a youth. 

He first resided with his uncle, Dr. James Kerr, on the 
Lavaca river, mingling with the young men of the country, 
and acquiring practical knowledge of Texas life on the bor- 
der, among the "stock," in the camp and on the hunt, in all 
of which he v/as proficient, excelling in horsemanship, and, 
while always frank and free in his intercourse with these bor- 
der people, perfect harmony prevailed, and friendships were 
there formed, which were cemented afterwards in many an 
Indian skirmish and hardships known only to such border 
life. 

When Austin was laid out in 1839, as the new seat of 
government, on the extreme outer edge of population, he 
being then nineteen years of age, repaired to that place in 
search of employment in one of the two newspapers to be 
•established there. He was favorably introduced to President 
Lamar, Vice-President Burnet, Gen. Albert Sidney Johnson, 
Dr. Branch T. Archer, secretary of war; Judge Abner S. 
Lipscomb, secretary of state, and nearly all the prominent 
men at the capitol, and had the good fortune to obtain their 
good will, and ever after to retain their esteem. He ob- 
tained employment on the first issue of the "Texas Sentinel," 
and there remained till the summer of 1840. He was made 
secretary of the Austin Lyceum, composed of nearly all of 
the many talented men then in the place, and was also a 
member of the Travis Guards, a fine volunteer company. 
When the Indians, in the winter of 1839-40, made a night 



230 THE LIFE AND SERVICES 

raid on the town, killing several persons in its limits, Gen- 
eral Burleson, with a body of volunteers and some Tonca- 
hua Indians, pursued them far -up the country. Young 
Brown was one of these volunteers, and then for the first 
time saw the upper Lampasas, Colorado and Pecan bayou. 
The wily foe, with their booty, baffled pursuit by scattering 
on rocky hills so as to leave no trail. 

Early in the summer he returned to his uncle's, on the 
Lavaca, just in time to join in the fruitless expedition known 
as the "Archer campaign," and was, in quick succession, in 
several other expeditions in defense of the raided frontier- 

On the 6th of August, 1840, the great Indian raid of about 
1000 warriors and renegade Mexicans, attacked Victoria, 
killing a number of persons. On the 8th they sacked and 
burned Linnville (now Lavaca) on the bay. On the 7th a 
small company left the Lavaca to unite with others above to 
intercept the retreat of the savages, and in this young Brown 
was a volunteer. They hurried to Gonzales, where a small 
company was in readiness, and passed with them via Seguin 
and the head of the San Marcos, thence down to Plum creek, 
arriving at midnight of the nth, and having slept but one 
night in four. By morning the whole force was 187, and 
was commanded by Gen. Felix Huston, Colonel Burleson 
and Capt. Mathew Caldwell. The battle began about 8 
o'clock. The line of the Indians was broken by a charge 
an hour later, and a running fight kept up for ten miles or 
more, resulting in the utter defeat and dispersion of the In- 
dians. Mr. Brown killed an Indian chief, in a single-handed 
chase, and captured his cap surmounted with buffalo horns, 
which a friend soon afterwards sent to the Cincinnati mu- 
seum. Soon after, with his brother, Rufus E. Brown, he 
aided in opening a farm for their mother, in what is now 
L avaca county, which was the outside house in that immedi- 
ate section and entirely open to Indian raids. In 184 1 he 
was first sergeant of a company of "minute men," and on 
several expeditions, one of which was in pursuit of the last 
raiders upon Victoria, who killed a Mr. Callahan at the Half 
Moon league in Gonzales (now Lavaca) county. In the au- 
tumn of that year he was one of a small party who advanced 



OF GEN BEN McCULLOCH. 231 

up the Rio Blanco, but finding no Indians, turned their at- 
tention to buffalo and bear killing. 

The winter of 1S41-2 was comparatively quiet, proving to 
be the "calm before the storm." 

In obedience to a call for aid by courier, from San An- 
tonio at midnight, young Brown and four others started at 
daylight, March 1st, 1S42. On reaching the Cibolo, an or- 
ganization of thirty-six men, all but those mentioned from 
the Guadalupe, was effected by electing James H. Callahan 
captain, and John Henry Brown lieutenant. They entered 
San Antonio March 5th, finding Capt. John C. Hays in chief 
command, with a force, including themselves, of 107 men. 
Ben McCulloch and Alsey S. Miller had been west as scouts so 
long that Mike Chevallie and Dunn had been dispatched on 
the same mission. Brown went out that night with Arnold, 
Threadgill, Morrison and others, and eight miles west dis- 
covered the Mexican forces, 1400 strong, under General Vas- 
quez, bivouacking for the night. They so reported to Captain 
Hays. The streets were barricaded and every precaution 
taken. Vasquez, in the forenoon of the next day, March 
6th, approached to within some two miles of the place and 
sent in a flag of truce by Colonel Carrasco, demanding its 
surrender. An answer was premised at 2 p. m. In the 
meantime couriers rushed east far enough to give no hope of 
re-inforcerrients, and it was determined to evacuate the place. 
This was done at 2 o'clock, the enemy entering from the 
west at the same time. Hays fell back to Flores' rancho, 
opposite Seguin, on the Guadalupe, and there awaited re-in- 
forcements. Lieutenant Brown hastily returned home for 
re- mounting, but returned on the fourth day. The entire 
population above and most of those of Gonzales fled east, 
but volunteers soon assembled to justify an offensive move- 
ment. General Burleson was hailed with one voice as com- 
mander, but the Mexicans hastily retreated on the 14th, and 
had been gone three or four days when our forces reached 
San Antonio. Pursuit was of necessity useless. After some 
days the citizen volunteers returned home, as did the refugee 
families. While returning to the rendezvous, Lieutenant 
Brown passed the night at King's, above Gonzales, where 
several hundred unorganized volunteers were en route, and 



232 THE LIFE AND SERVICES 

many families were encamped on the retreat east. A courier 
brought the startling intelligence that a large Indian force 
was near and approaching. The night was intensely dark, 
but an organization was immediately effected by electing 
Myers F. Jones colonel, and John Henry Brown lieutenant- 
colonel, and in thirty minutes those officers had the families 
encircled by a cordon of daring men ready for any emer- 
gency. The alarm, however, proved to be unfounded, and 
the troops continued their march to San Antonio. 

On the dispersion of the volunteers, Lieutenant Brown,, 
with a number of young men, attached themselves to the 
spy company of John C. Hays and remained several months 
west of San Antonio, scouring the country and acting as 
pickets against both Mexican and Indian surprise. He was 
on numerous scouts while in this service, but returning home 
in the summer he found himself a candidate for major of a 
regiment being organized under order of the president, in 
the three old counties of Jackson, Victoria and Gonzales, and 
destined for service against Mexico. He was elected a day 
or two after reaching home ; but the regiment was never 
called into service. 

At daylight, September nth, 1842, San Antonio was sur- 
prised and captured by 1400 Mexicans, under General Adrian 
Wall. The news spread rapidly, and in a few days 202 vol- 
unteers from different sections assembled on the Cibolo and 
were organized by electing Col. Matthew Caldwell as 
commander. Mr. Brown was elected lieutenant of the La- 
vaca river company. On the night of the 17th they took po- 
sition on the Salado, six miles from San Antonio. On the 
18th was fought the battle of Salado, lasting from the fore- 
noon till late in the afternoon, the little force of 202 acting on 
the defensive against 1,400 of the enemy, who were repeat- 
edly repulsed and finally yielded the field. During this time 
the unemployed Mexican cavalry, two miles east of the bat- 
tlefield, cut to pieces Dawson's company of fifty-three men 
en route to reinforce Caldwell. Forty-one were left dead on 
the field, two escaped and the remaining ten were captured, 
some severely wounded. In the chief battle Lieutenant 
Brown received a wound in the hip joint, which at the time 
he did not regard as serious, but which has been more or less 



OF GEN BEN McCULL OCH. 233 

annoying at times ever since. His horse was twice shot in 
the same battle. 

On the 20th, considerably reinforced, and learning that 
General Woll was abandoning San Antonio, Colonel Cald- 
well started in pursuit. From various causes, all of the 
company to which Mr. Brown and three other young men 
belonged, returned home, excepting themselves. These four 
joined other companies in the pursuit. Additional volunteers, 
under Col. John H. Moore, overtook Caldwell on the 
Medina. The pursuit, more or less delayed by awaiting 
reports from scouts, was kept up till late in the afternoon of 
the 22d, when Caldwell's advance overtook and skirmished 
with Woll's rear — the last occasion, on the Honda and near 
sunset, was severe. Lieutenant Brown participated in this 
engagement under Hays. Encamping for the night with 
pickets all around the enemy, daylight revealed the fact that 
he had fled early in the night, leaving some vehicles, and 
the chase was abandoned. Returning to San Antonio, an 
early campaign was projected against the towns of the Rio 
Grande, and the citizen volunteers returned home, many to 
prepare for the intended campaign, and of this number was 
Lieutenant Brown. In due time the Somerville expedition, 
700 strong, marched from San Antonio, Mr. Brown being 
again lieutenant of a conpany partly composed of his neigh- 
bors and partly of men from what is now Brazos county. 
The history of this unfortunate expedition belongs to Texas 
and is well known. Lieutenant Brown and most of his com- 
pany, under Capt. Isaac N. Mitchell, adhered to General 
Somervell, as the legal commander, in the capture of La- 
redo, (when two companies returned home), then down the 
Rio Grande to the capture of Guerrero, and then obeved his 
orders in returning home, though sorely disappointed. Three 
hundred of the men reorganized, moved below, gallantly 
fought overwhelming odds for nineteen hours and then be- 
came the justly celebrated "Mier prisoners." 

The returning party suffered greatly from hunger and the 
inclemency of the weather, but reached San Antonio on the 
7th of January, 1843, and were honorably discharged on that 
day. Lieutenant Brown, with a single companion, reached 
his mother's home late at night, barefooted and nearly naked, 



2 34 THE LIFE AND SERVICES 

after traveling all day in a cold, wet norther, and would hav? 
perished had not shelfer been soon found. His horse was 
drowned in swimming the Guadalupe the previous day and 
he reached home on a borrowed one. 

That winter and spring were the darkest days ever seen 
in Texas, excepting the abandonment of all the western 
country before Santa Anna in the spring of 1836. At this 
time, disheartened by the general gloom, many valuable 
families removed from Victoria and the Guadalupe to the 
east of the Colorado. 

After assisting in planting the crops, Mr. Brown left, on 
the 4th of April, 1843, on a trip to Missouri, and at his na- 
tive place met, and on the 9th of July married, Miss Mary F. 
Mitchell, of Groton, Connecticut, an educated and accom- 
plished young lady of one of the oldest K largest and most re- 
spected families of New England. The fortieth anniversary 
of their happy union was celebrated at their home in Dallas 
in 18S3, and brought in review their checkered and eventful 
pilgrimage together. The next winter was spent in Missouri 
where Mr. Brown long lay at death's door with the malig- 
nant disease called " black tongue," which fastened upon 
his lungs and rendered him unfit for active labor for several 
years, and the effects of which yet manifest themselves un- 
der exposure. Returning to Texas he remained for a time 
at his mother's, where his first child, Julius Rufus, was born, 
on the 1st of February, 1846. 

When the Victoria Advocate was started, later in the 
same year, he removed to that place and was employed on 
that paper, assisting in its editorial department through the 
Mexican war, and by a singular co-incident wrote the first 
published account of the battle of Buena Vista, based upon 
Mexican overland rumors, which proved to be correct. At 
this time he began writing historical pioneer sketches of 
Texas, and has at intervals continued to do so to the present. 
Many of his contributions have been used in historical works, 
and quite a number without credit. He never indulged in 
fiction in this connection, but sought to collect and preserve 
the facts connected with our pioneer history, much of which 
he has preserved from oblivion. 

When the milit'a of the new state was ovg^'^-H in 1846, 



OF GEN. BEN McCULLOCIl. 235 

about the commencement of the Mexican war, he was ap- 
pointed brigade major of the southwest, with the rank of 
colonel, and held the position four years. 

In February, 1848, he removed to the new town of Indi- 
anola, and until 1854 was an active and zealous worker in 
the interests of that place, holding various positions of trust, 
including that of commissioner of deeds for twenty-three 
states of the union. He also founded and edited the Indi- 
anola Bulletin, a widely circulated and influential journal. 
During this time he was a contributor to De Bow's Review, 
under the general title of " Early Life in the Southwest." 

During the time from annexation in 1S45-6 to 1854 he 
carefully studied the elementary works on the common law 
and all the published works on the origin of the Federal and 
State governmerts, the proceedings and debates of the Fed- 
eral convention of 17877 which framed the constitution of 
the United States — embracing also a thorough search into the 
origin, history and moral attitude of American negro slavery. 
All this was done in search of the truth, that he might the 
more wisely conduct, in the spirit of truth, whatever journal 
might fall under his control. The result was that he became 
a thorough disciple of States' rights, as held by the great 
sage and apostle of liberty, Thomas Jefferson, and an 
equal believer in the justification on biblical grounds 
of the subordination of the African to the while 
race ; that this race, as slaves, was primarily 
forced on the Southern colonies against their will, by British 
lust and the convenience of commercial New England. That 
all the states held slaves when the government was formed, 
but finding it unprofitable in the North, after European labor 
began to come in, they professed to get rid of it by gradual 
emancipation, but in truth sold the bulk of their slaves in the 
South ; and then, with arrant cheek, began their anti-slavery 
war upon and intermeddling with the South. 

These beliefs were the corner stones of Colonel Brown's 
political action from that time till secession occurred. No 
one of this generation will be accepted by posterity as an un- 
prejudiced writer on this subject; but when the time comes 
for calm and true history, the judgment of posterity, in pos- 
session of all the facts, as he firmly believes, will be that the 



236 THE LIFE AND SER VICES 

war of 1S61-5 between the states, was the result of unjusti- 
fiable intermeddling, insult and wrong-doing by the Northern 
states — chiefly those of New England — with the internal and 
domestic institutions of the South, which willingly relegates 
the decision to that august tribunal — the posterity of both 
sections. 

In 1854 he purchased an interest in and became co-editor 
of the Galveston Civilian; but Mr. Hamilton Stuart, his 
senior associate, the founder of the paper and an able writer r 
held the important position of United States Custom-house 
Collector, and the chief editorial labor devolved, upon Col- 
onel Brown. At this time, what was commonly called the 
Know-Nothing party, had been recently organized and car- 
ried the election in Galveston county. A fair majority of the 
votes of the county were on its secret rolls. That party had 
carried most of the Northern states, and was believed to be 
powerful in the South. The journals of Texas seemed 
dumb-founded and silent, on one hand, or espoused the cause 
of the new and proscriptive party on the other. Letters 
poured in to the Civilian, always, hitherto, under Mr. 
Stuart's guidance, a firm and consistent but conservative 
democratic paper, urging its editors either to align themselves 
with the new party or remain neutral. With a large personal 
acquaintance all over the central and western part of the 
state, upon the public announcement of his connection with 
the Civilian, Colonel Brown was beset with letters and ap 
peals of this kind. Mr. Stuart was heartily oppose^ to the 
order as anti-i\merican, but was too much engrossed to de- 
vote much time to it. His new associate, however, rejected 
every suggestion of neutrality and entered the arena, as he 
then and still believes, as the champion of political virtue 
and popular rights, and assailed the new secret political or- 
ganization as anti-American and at war with the genius of 
American constitutional liberty. The canvass of 1855 for 
governor and legislature opened early and became the most 
bitter ever known in the state. Many old patrons of the 
Civilian withdrew from its support — fifty-two in one letter 
from Huntsville — but time soon proved that all the people 
needed was a bold and fearless organ. New subscribers 
poured in. Thoughtful men, who had hastily joined the new 



OF GEN. BEN McCULLOCIL 237 

party, on sober reflection began to withdraw and resume 
their position as Democrats, and many Whigs followed suit. 
Colonel Brown was unanimously nominated for the house of 
representatives, and then began, for the first time, his career 
as a public speaker and with such effect that he was consid- 
erably the foremost man when the votes were counted. 
His colleague on the ticket (there being two to elect) was 
behind, but both were elected by a large majority. The 
whole state looked with the most intense interest to Galves- 
ton, because the year before it had been carried by the new 
party, and when the result was known, there was rejoicing 
throughout the land. The Democrats swept the state, ad- 
ministering a death blow to the proscription of men on ac- 
count of birth or religion. 

During this canvass the colleague of Colonel Brown on 
the Democratic ticket, an immigrant from New York, was 
assailed as an abolitionist by the opposing party, but pre- 
sented such evidences of his past course, in denial of the 
charge, as to insure his election ; yet, in a prepared and elab- 
orate speech in the house of representatives, wholly uncalled 
for, he enunciated principles fully justifying the charge. 
Colonel Brown, chagrined beyond measure, in writing, 
spread upon the journals by unanimous consent, denounced 
his course as a betrayal of trust and his plighted faith to the 
people of Galveston, who had vindicated and elected him. 
Surprise, disgust and indignation were almost universal in 
Galveston and a great majority of the people signed a de- 
mand upon him to resign. He seemed infatuated with the idea, 
that, upon second thought, on his return to Galveston, he 
wculd be reinstated. But in this he was sorely mistaken, 
for on reaching home at the close of the session he found 
himself deserted and shunned by the multitude of the people, 
and thereupon resigned. As the legislature was to re-assem- 
ble in July, the Hen. Leslie A. Thompson, a learned ex-su- 
preme judge of Florida, was elected to fill the vacancy. The 
condemned betrayer of confidence turned up in Washington 
a^ter the war, exulting over the then humiliation of Texas, 
but died soon after. 

This session of the legislature, including the adjourned 
summer session, was one of the blest ever assembled in 



233 THE LIFE AND SER VICES 

Texas. In the senate were Mark M. Potter, E. A. Palmer, 
M. D. K. Taylor, I. A. Paschal, Wm. M. Taylor, Wm. T. 
Scott, Jesse Grimes, John Caldwell, Henry E. McCulloch 
and others of acknowledged ability. In the house were Ben 
E. Tarver, John Sayles, James E. Shepard, Wm. B. Ochil- 
tree, Charles L. Cleveland, Charles S. West, (now supreme 
court judge,) Hamilton P. Bee, Frank W. Latham, J. W. 
Throckmorton, Ashbel Smith, Stephen S. Tompkins, Jo- 
siah F. Crosby, Jacob Waelder and others, then or after- 
wards prominent in the state. 

Colonel Brown was an active, laborious and conscientious 
worker in this hody — never speaking over five minutes and 
only on subjects on which he could throw light — always 
watchful for the interests of his constituency, yet an attentive 
listener, anxious to understand the bearing of every question 
discussed upon the permanent good of Texas. That his 
course was eminently satisfactory to his constituency was 
proven by his unanimous nomination before his return home 
and his triumphant election a few days after his arrival, as 
mayor of the city, a position he neither sought nor de- 
sired. By virtue of this election he became chief of the fire 
department and president of the Galveston and Brazos Canal 
company, in which the city was a stockholder. Under his 
first year's administration the foundation was laid for exten- 
sive street improvements. The laws of the city, for the first 
time in the sixteen ye'ars of its existence, were carefully re- 
vised and published, so that every voter could have a copy. 
Numbers of abuses were corrected, one of which was a law 
under which the mayor received a fee of two dollars and a 
half for each conviction before him, but nothing in case of an 
acouittal. Colonel B.own, previously unaware of such a 
rule, denounced it as a standing bribe, refused to touch such 
money so received, and induced the council to strike this law 
from the municipal code. 

At the expiration of his term in March, 1857, he was re- 
elected without opposition. During his second term, public 
improvements continued, and the city issued a hundred thou- 
sand dollars in bonds in aid of the all-important railroad 
bridge connecting the city and island with the main land at 
Virginia Point. 



OF GEN BEN McCULL OCH. 239 

During all this period his editorial labors were incessant, 
though his health continued precarious as it had been for 
thirteen years. He also published through 1855-6-7 numer- 
our chapters on the Indian wars and pioneer history of 
Texas, and in 1857 wrote a series of articles advocating a 
railway from Galveston to the then new town of Kansas 
City, Missouri, a scheme regarded by most of the press of 
Texas as Utopian, but which has long since become an ac- 
complished fact. 

As the time approached for another election, he was 
unanimously nominated by the Democratic party for the 
house of representatives, and elected in September, 1857, 
without opposition, his colleague being Thomas M. Joseph, 
a most worthy and talented gentleman, while the able, wise 
and ever-faithful Mark M. Potter was returned to the senate. 

About the first of November he resigned the mayoralty 
and took his seat for the third time in the legislature, and 
throughout its long session was so occupied with its labors 
that he was but twice in the business portion of Austin. He 
sought to break up the vast amount of special legislation 
besetting every session by enacting general laws. He, with 
Senator Potter, prepared the general law for incorporating 
towns and cities — himself a law for the incorporation of mili- 
tary companies, a bill for adjusting titles along the unmarked 
lines between the Bastrop and Milam, and Travis and Bexar 
land districts, a law to give each county its separate surveyor, 
and other measures. 

He drew and pressed through two bills creating in square 
shape and providing the future mode of organizing twenty- 
nine counties on the frontier and in advance of population, 
a mea lire followed in 1876 in the creation of fifty-four coun- 
ties in the Pan Handle and western part of the state. 

As chairman of the committe on "Slaves and Slavery" 
he wrote an elaborate and somewhat exhaustive report, giv- 
ng the origin, progress and the then present status of that in- 
stitution, defending it by authority of the Divine law from 
which extracts were made ; and proving by historical 
records that it was introduced into the American colonies by 
the British and New Englanders, against the wishes of the 
Southern colonies. The object of the report was to meet 



240 THE LIFE AND SERVICES 

the wild warfare of New England upon the South and an in- 
stitution derived from them. Twenty thousand copies were 
scattered by legislative authority over the state, and it is an 
indisputable fact that thousands of good citizens who had ac- 
cepted the dogma that "slavery was per se a moral evil — or 
opposed to the teachings of the Bible — were convinced of 
their error and that the whole question, so far as the slave- 
holding states were concerned, was one of expediency, to be 
dealt with by each state as it might deem best for the happi- 
ness of its people — exercising the same right that each North- 
ern state had exercised before opening its batteries on its 
Southern sisters. 

Colonel Brown also carried through the house, after re- 
peated failures by his predecessors, though it had passed the 
senate, the bill ceding Pelican Island and flats to the city of 
Galveston, and introduced a bill granting state aid to a col- 
lege to be founded on the coast, "devoted to imparting in- 
struction in marine navigation, commerce, ship building and 
mechanics;" also providing for an agricultural bureau, de- 
signed for the collection of information for the promotion 
and improvement of the agricultural, mining and other in- 
terests of this state." 

During the session he received an injury from a fall des- 
tined, several years later, to require a surgical operation. 
His health continued to decline, and on returning home in 
March, 1858, he sold his interest in the Civilian and his home 
in Galveston and removed to Belton, with the view of con- 
verting his means and recovering his health in stock rais- 
ing. 

In July, 1858, Colonel Brown was appointed by the gover- 
nor, commissioner, under the law of 1856, to sell at auction, 
in the respective county sites, and in 160 acre tracts, the al- 
ternate sections of the large amount of university lands in the 
counties of McLennan, Hunt, Fannin, Grayson and Cooke, 
after expensive and minute advertising for sixty days. The 
labor was successfully completed and reported in January, 
1859, to the entire satisfaction of the state authorities and the 
many settlers on the lands. 

In March, 1859, the Indians raided Bell county, killing a 
number of people and escaping with a large booty in horses. 



OF GEN BEN McCULLOCIl. 241 

For two years such raids had been on the increase on the 
outer frontier, but this one pushsd itself so tar into the settle- 
ments as to arouse great fear for all frontier families. Colo- 
nel Brown was at once thrust to the front and placed in com- 
mand of a citizens' minute company. At this time there were 
two Indian reservations in Texas under United States con- 
trol — one, ten miles square on the Brazos, in Young county, 
on which were collected Tancahuas, Caddos, Kechies, 
Wacos,(Huecos) Tahuacanos, Ionis, Anardarcos, Cooshattas 
and other small remnants of tribes ; the other forty-five miles 
west, on the Clear fork of the Brazos, on which there were a 
large body of Comanches and the United States military post 
of Camp Cooper. The frontier people came to believe that 
the oft-recurring outrages upon them were largely committed 
by these people, and charged that the principal agent was in 
sympathy with the Indians, ignoring the complaints of the 
people and denying the return of their stolen horses when 
identified in the Indian herds. Excitement ran high at this 
time. Several hundred armed citizens marched to the vicin- 
ity of the Brazos reservation and were virtually repulsed by 
the Indians, while two companies of Federal troops remained 
on the defensive, fortified at the headquarters of the reserva- 
tion. The citizens having accomplished nothing, disbanded 
and returned to their homes. At this time the governor ap- 
pointed Richard Coke, George B. Erath and Joseph M. 
Smith, of Waco, John Henry Brown, of Belton, and Dr. J. E. 
Steiner, of Austin, commissioners, to proceed to the reserva- 
tions and surrounding places, investigate as to the real facts 
and report as early as possible. These gentlemen proceeded 
on their mission, meeting public gatherings of the people in 
Weatherford, Jacksboro, Palo Pinto, Belknap and Stephens- 
ville, taking testimony, and spent abundant time with the 
agents and employes at the Brazos reservation. Their report, 
prepared with great care and in a conservative spirit, attrib- 
uted many of the outrages to these reserve Indians, and 
advised that they be compelled by the state to remain in 
their own lines until their removal out of the state, then un- 
derstood to be intended at an early day. Colonel Brown was 
thereupon commissioned to raise and command troops for 
this purpose and for the protection of the northwestern fron- 



242 THE LIFE AND SER VICES 

tier. A few days later, with 109 men and boys, he took po- 
sition on the line of the Brazos reservation, notified the chief 
agent, the United States commander there, and Major (after- 
wards General) George H. Thomas, United States cavalry 
and commander at Camp Cooper, of his presence, instruc- 
tions and purposes, and requested their co-operation. The 
agent replied insultingly and was answered defiantly. The 
military officers replied courteously and satisfactorily, ex- 
cepting that their forces were restricted as to the control ot 
the Indians. Near Camp Cooper some two hunbred Co- 
manches attacked a detachment of thirteen of Colonel 
Brown's men, but were repulsed with considerable loss and 
only two wounded of the small party. 

In due time the two reservations united on the Little 
Wichita, escorted by 400 United States troops, and marched 
across Red river en route to their new reservation at Fort 
Cobb, Indian territory. Colonel Brown followed a few 
miles in the rear, chased a party of raiders who had slipped 
out of the ranks and recovered thirteen stolen horses from 
them, and thus was Texas, to this extent, relieved of Indian 
population on its soil. After scouring the Red river and 
northwestern frontier, the state troops were marched home 
and discharged in the autumn of 1S59. 

About this time the Belton De?nocrat was founded, and 
Colonel Brown became its editor and so continued until se- 
cession was accomplished in February, 186 1. Parties were 
then being marshaled for the great contest of 186 1. The 
Democrat, under his guidance, planted itself firmly and fear- 
lessly upon the doctrines of States' rights and in defense of 
Southern institutions. Incendiaries were burning towns, 
mills, cotton gins, etc. The abolition press North was de- 
fending these things and in every way heaping insult and 
obloquy upon the South. They boasted that in case of resis- 
tance on the election of Lincoln, the poor white people of 
the South and the negroes would rise up and cut the throats 
of the slave-holders. Colonel Brown believed and pro- 
claimed that in the contingency named, the non-slaveholding 
whites would be more united for resistance than the slave- 
holders ; and that such was the case, facts, which followed, 
proved beyond dispute. 



OF GEN. BEN Mc CULL O CIL 243 

During the canvass of i860 Colonel Brown spoke often 
to large crowds of people on the questions involved in the 
approaching election. The Democrat rapidly acquired a 
large circulation in the surrounding counties, and wasliailed 
as the champion of the frontier people and the endangered 
rights of the South. When, therefore, the election came on, 
January 8th, 1861, for delegates to the Secession convention, 
he was elected from the district of Bell and Lampasas with- 
out a single vote being cast against him. Three days before 
this, on the 5th, Gen. Sam Houston, governor of the state, 
addressed about two thousand of both sexes in Belton, op- 
posing secession by separate state action. Though in very 
feeble health from recent illness, Colonel Brown was so 
earnestly urged to reply that he did so — passing the highest 
and most sincere encomiums upon the venerable old chief, to 
whom all owed deference and respect; but when he launched 
forth on the questions at issue, for one hour that large assem- 
blage received almost every period with tumultuous ap- 
plause, and on concluding, scarcely able to stand, he was 
borne from the scene on the shoulders of friends. These 
outbursts of applause aroused no spirit of vanity in his heart, 
realizing as he did in their fullest sense, the mighty issues at 
stake and the necessity for coolness and wisdom in counsel, 
rather than in outbursts of enthusiasm. 

The convention met and organized on the 28th of Janu- 
ary. On the first of February, the ordinance of secession 
was passed, with only seven dissenting votes out of a total of 
182 members. From a number of drafts referred to a com- 
mittee, they adopted neither, but reported a declaratory or- 
dinance so brief that no sufficient reason was given to justify 
secession. Colonel Brown keenly felt that posterity would 
have a right to fully understand the reason for a step so mo- 
mentous, and, on his motion, a committee of five was ap- 
pointed to report "a declaration of the causes which impel 
the state of Texas to secede from the federal union." The 
members of the committee were John Henry Brown, chair- 
man ; Malcolm D. Graham, of Rusk; George Flournoy, oi 
Travis ; A. P. Wiley, oi Walker, and Pryor Lea, of Goliad- 
Colonel Brown submitted to them a declaration which he had 
drawn before leaving home. It was approved without a sin- 



244 THE LIFE AND SERVICES 

gle change, reported to the convention and passed viva voce 
without a dissenting voice. As Texas was the only state 
adopting this mode of expression, and as the instrument is 
out of print, it is now given in full : 

A DECLARATION 

Of the Causes which Impel the State of Texas to 
Secede from the Federal Unio?i. 

The government of the United States, by certain joint 
resolutions, bearing date on the first day of March, in the 
year A. D. 1S45, proposed to the Republic of Texas, then a 
free, sovereign and independent nation, the annexation o 
tne latter to the former, as one of the co-equal states 
thereof. 

The people of Texas, by deputies in convention assem- 
bled, on the fourth day of July of the same year, assented to 
and accepted said proposals, and framed a constitution for 
the proposed state, upon which, on the twenty-ninth day of 
December, of the same year, said state was formally received 
into the Confederated union. 

Texas abandoned her separate national existence and con- 
sented to become one of the Confederate states, to promote 
her welfare, insure domestic tranquility and secure more sub- 
stantially the blessings of liberty and peace to her people. 
She was received into the Confederacy, with her own consti- 
tion, under the guarantees of the Federal constitution and 
the compact of annexation, that she should enjoy these bless- 
ings. She was received as a commonwealth, holding, main- 
taining and protecting the institution known as negro slavery 
— the servitude of the African to the white race within her 
limits — a relation that had existed from the first settlement 
of her wilderness by the white race, and which her people 
intended should continue to exist in all future time. Her 
institutions and geographical position established tha strong- 
est ties between her and, the other slave-holding states 
of the Confederacy. Those ties have been strengthened 
by the association. But what has been the course of the gov- 
ernment of the United States, and of the people and author- 
ities of the non-slavingholding states, since our connection 
with them ? 

The controlling majority of the Federal government, un- 
der various pretenses and disguises, have so administered the 
same as to exclude the citizens of the Southern states, unless 
under odious restrictions, from all the immense territory 
owned in common by all the states, on the Pacific ocean. 



OF GEN. BEN Mc CULL O CLL 215 

for the avowed purpose of acquiring sufficient power in 
he common government, to use it as a means of destroying 
the institutions of Texas and her sister slave-holding states. 

By the disloyalty of the Northern states and their citizens, 
and the imbecility of the Federal government, infamous 
combinations of incendiaries and outlaws have been per- 
mitted in those states and the common territory of Kansas, 
to trample upon the Federal laws, to war upon the lives and 
property of Southern citizens in that territory, and, finally, 
by violence and not law, to usurp the possession of the same, 
as exclusively the property of the Northern states. 

The Federal government, while but partially under the 
control of these, our unnatural and sectional enemies, has, 
for years, almost entirely failed to protect the lives and prop- 
erty of the people of Texas against the Indian savages on 
our borders ; and, more recently, against the murderous forays 
of banditti from the neighboring territory of Mexico ; and 
when our state government has expended large amounts for 
such purposes, the Federal government has refused re-im- 
bursement therefore — thus rendering our constitution more 
insecure and harrassing than it was during the existence of 
the Republic of Texas. 

These and other wrongs we have patiently borne, in the 
vain hope that a returning sense of justice and humanity 
would induce a different course of administration. 

When we advert to the course of individual non-slave- 
holding states and that of a majority of their citizens, our 
grievances assume far greater magnitude. 

The states of Maine, Vermont, New Hampshire, Con- 
necticut, Rhode Island, Massachusetts, New York, Penn- 
sylvania, Ohio, Wisconsin, Michigan and Iowa, by solemn 
legislative enactments, have deliberately, directly or indi- 
rectly, violated the third clause of the second section of the 
fourth article of the federal constitution, and laws passed in 
pursuance thereof; thereby annulling a material provision 
of the compact, designed by its framers to perpetuate amity 
between the members of the confederacy, and to secure the 
rights of the slave-holding states in their domestic institu- 
tions — a provision founded in justice and wisdom, and with- 
out the enforcement of which the compact fails to accom- 
plish the object of its creation. Some of these states have 
imposed high fines and degrading penalties upon any of their 
citizens or officers who may carry out in good faith that pro- 
vision of the compact, or the federal laws enacted in accord- 
ance therewith. 

In all of the non-slaveholding states, in violation of that 
good faith and comity which should exist even between en- 
tirely distinct nations, the people have formed themselves 



216 ~HE LIFE AND SERVICES 

into a great s«ctional party, now strong enough in numbers 
to control the affairs of each of those states, based upon the 
unnatural feeling of hostility to these Southern States and 
their beneficent and patriarchal system of African slavery — 
proclaiming the debasing doctrine of the equality of all men, 
irrespective of race or color — a doctrine at war with nature, 
in opposition to the experience of mankind and in violation 
of the plainest revelation of the divine law. They demand 
the abolition of negro slavery throughout the Confederacy — 
the recognition of political equality between the white and 
negro races — and avow their determination to press on their 
crusade against us so long as a negro slave remains in these 
states. 

For years past this abolition organization has been ac- 
tively sowing the seeds of discord through the Union, and 
has rendered the federal congress the arena for spreading 
firebrands and hatred between the slaveholding and non- 
slavholding states. 

By consolidating their strength they have placed the slave- 
holding states in a hopeless minorty in the federal congress and 
rendered representation of no avail in protecting Southern 
rights against their exactions and encroachments. 

They have proclaimed, and at the ballot box sustained, 
the revolutionary doctrine that there is a "higher law" than 
the constitution and laws of our Federal Union, and virtually, 
that they will disregard their oaths and trample upon our 
rights. 

They have, for years past, encouraged and sustained law- 
less organizations to steal our slaves and prevent their re- 
capture, and have repeatedly murdered Southern citizens 
while lawfully seeking their rendition. 

They have invaded Southern soil and murdered unoffend- 
ing citizens, and through the press, their leading men and a 
fanatical pulpit, have bestowed praise upon the actors and 
assassins in these crimes, while the governors of several of 
their states have refused to deliver parties implicated in such 
offenses, upon the legal demands of the state aggrieved. 

They have, through the mails and hired emissaries, sent 
seditious pamphlets and papers amongst us to stir up servile 
insurrection and bring blood and carnage to our firesides. 

They have sent hired emissaries amongst us to burn our 
towns and distribute arms and poison to our slaves for the 
same purpose. 

They have impoverished the slaveholding states by une- 
qual and partial legislation, thereby enriching themselves by 
draining our substance. 

They have refused to vote appropriations for protecting 



OF GEN BEN McCULLOCIL 247 

Texas against ruthless savages for the sole reason that she is 
a slaveholding state. 

And, finally, by the combined sectional vote of the seven- 
teen non-slaveholding states, they have elected as president 
and vice-president ot the whole Confederacy two men whose 
chief claims to such high positions, are their approval of 
these long-continued wrongs, and their pledges to continue 
them to the final consummation of these schemes for the ruin 
of the slaveholding states. 

In view of these and many other facts, it is meet that our 
own views should be distinctly proclaimed. 

We hold, as undeniable truths, '.'lat the governments of 
the various states, and of the Confederacy itself, were estab- 
lished exclusively by the white race, for themselves and their 
posterity; that the African race had no agency in their estab- 
lishment ; that they were rightfully held and regarded as an 
inferior and dependent race, and in that condition only could 
their existence in this country be rendered beneficial or tolera- 
ble. 

That, in this free government, all white men are, and of 
right ought to be, entitled to equal civil and political rights ; 
that the servitude of the African race, as existing in these 
states, is mutually beneficial to both bond and free, and is 
abundantly authorized and justified by the experience of 
mankind, and the revealed will of the Almighty Creator, as 
recognized by all Christian nations ; while the destruction of 
the existing relations between the two races, as advocated by 
our sectional enemies, would bring inevitable calamities 
upon both, and desolation upon the fifteen slaveholding 
states. 

By the secession of six slaveholding states, and the cer- 
tainty that others will speedily do likewise, Texas has no 
alternative but to remain in isolated connection with the 
North, or unite her destinies with the South. 

For these and other reasons — solemnly Averting that the 
federal constitution has been violated and virtually abrogated 
by the several states named ; seeing that the federal govern- 
ment is now passing under the control of our sectional ene- 
mies, to be diverted from the exalted objects of its creation 
to those of oppression and wrong ; and realizing that our 
state can no longer look for protection but to God and her 
own sons: We, the delegates of the people of Texas, in 
convention assembled, have passed an ordinance dissolving 
all political connection with the government of the United 
States of America, and the people thereof— and confidentlv 
appeal to the intelligence and patriotism of tne freemen of 
Texas to ratify the same at the ballot box on the 23d ot the 
present month. 



248 THE LIFE AND SERVICES 

Adopted in convention on the 2d day of February, A. D. r 
1S61, and of the independence of Texas the twenty-fittn. 

The convention having submitted the ordinance of seces- 
sion to the popular vote on the 23d of February, took a re- 
cess till the 2d day of March. Pending the issue prominent 
speakers canvassed different sections, sending printed bills 
ahead by courier. Colonel Brown addressed large crowds 
successively at Aiken, Bell county; Meridian, Bosque coun- 
ty ; Stephenville, Erath county ; Weatherford and Veal's 
station, Parker county; Decatur, Wise county; Denton and 
Pilot Point, Denton county ; Sherman and Kentuckytown, 
Grayson county, and McKinney, Collin county, before the 
election ; and en ro?ite home after the election, at Lancaster, 
Dallas county, and at Milford, Ellis county. Passing a 
single ni^ht at home, he was in his seat when the convention 
re-assembled at noon on the 2d day of March, (the twenty- 
fifth anniversary of our separation from Mexico,) counted 
the votes — 47,000 for the ordinance, 13,000 against it — and 
declared Texas out of the Union. 

Colonel Brown continued an active membei until fina 
adjournment, on the 25th of March, remaining in set vice, 
however, sometime longer as one of a committee (Prior Lea, 
of Goliad ; John D. Stell, of Leon, and John Henry Brown, 
of Bell,) to prepare and publish an address to the state, ex- 
plaining and defending the action of the convention. He 
was also appointed by the convention to superintend the ar- 
rangement and publication of the ordinances and the consti- 
tution as modified to accord with our new relations as one of 
the Confederate States. These duties performed, he re- 
turned home about the 10th of April. 

By this time he was in such a condition from the injury 
previously mentioned that a surgical operation became neces- 
sary, which was performed by Drs. Eastland and Bradford, 
in Belton, in July, and late in August he left for the head- 
quarters of Gen. Ben. McCulloch, in the southwest corner of 
Missouri, as he had been requested to do by letter from 
that officer. He served on his staff through the fall and 
winter, and until the death of the general, on the field of 
Elkhorn, on the 7th of March, 1S62. While the troops were 
in winter quarters he published, for gratuitous circulation 



OF GEN. BEN McCULLOCIl. 249 

among them, a paper called the War Bulletin, taking the 
opportunity of defending General McCulloch against the 
falsehoods and calumnies of a set of demagogical hangers-on 
of the Missouri troops. He, alone, escorted the remains of the 
deceased hero, (by his special request contingently made in a 
confidential interview before the battle,) borne in an ambu- 
lance, six hundred miles to the capital of Texas, and 
pronounced his funeral oration in the hall of representatives 
in the presence of an immense assemblage of both sexes. 
He was immediately appointed adjutant-general on the staff 
of Gen. Henry E. McCulloch. Halting at Tyler to super- 
intend the organization, mustering in and outfit of sixteen 
regiments, General McCulloch moved on to a point north of 
Little Rock, where he commanded a camp of fifteen 
thousand to eighteen thousand men. On a reported advance 
of the federals toward White river our forces were hurried 
to that stream. Rains were incessant and the earth flooded. 
At Des'Arc Colonel Brown was stricken down with flux, 
and lay about a month. Resuming his duties at Camp Nel- 
son, he was soon after seized with pneumonia and confined 
several weeks. The surgeons advised, as the only hope of 
his recovery, his return to Texas. He reached home early 
in 1863, accompanied by his eldest son, Julius R., a boy of 
sixteen, who had been constantly in the service for some 
twenty months. Later in the season, when somewhat re- 
stored, he was placed on spec.il duty at Bonham, Tex., 
having removed his family in the meantime to Austin. 

While stationed at Bonham a serious matter arose in that 
military district. About seven hundred men formed a camp 
in what was known as "Journegan's thicket," along the 
borders of Hunt and Collin counties, and bade defiance to 
the authorities. They composed a medley of some desper. 
ate men, some deserters from the army, and some known as 
" brush men." Their covert was an almost impenetrable 
thicket, covering an area of about eight by twenty-four miles. 
The surrounding country, whose protectors were chiefly in 
the army, was greatly alarmed, and appealed to Gen. H. E- 
McCulloch for protection. [ Vide biographical sketch of 
Gen. H. B. McCulloch.^ 

In the summer of 1S64 a surgical operation again became 



250 TUB LIFE AND SERVICES 

necessary, and was successfully performed by Drs. Parish 
and Herndon in Austin. It was some time before he was 
enabled to ride on horseback. He was, however, placed by 
the governor of the state in command of the third frontier 
district, extending from Lampasas to the Rio Grande, with 
headquarters at Fredericksburg. In this position he ren- 
dered important service in protecting the frontier against 
Indians and "bushwhackers," and was on an expedition in 
Concho county when Lee and Johnston surrendered. This 
news reached him on his return to Fredericksburg. He re- 
turned to his home in Austin, resolved, with his family for 
the time being, to leave the country, dwell in Mexico and 
await events. His eldest son, Julius R. Brown, who had 
been commissioned captain on his nineteenth birthday for 
his gallant conduct in the Indian Territory, having entered 
the service when little over fifteen, rejoined hin in Austin. 
His second, and only other son, had entered the state service 
at fifteen, and was on duty with his father when the end 
came. 

From San Antonio to Eagle Pass, his family with others, 
who were also leaving the country, was guarded by Missouri- 
ans of Shelby's brigade, a brave and gentlemanly body of 
men. By slow marches via Monterey, Saltillo, San Luis 
Potosi, Queratero, San Miguel de Allende and San Juan del 
Rio, arrived in the City of Mexico early in September, and 
on the 5th of October temporarily located ii> the beautiful 
city and valley of Orizaba, residing there nearly a ^car. 

He was soon commissioned by Com. M. F. Maury, chief 
commissioner of emigration under the Imperial government, 
to explore and report upon the soil, climate, forests and 
productions of Yucatan. He repaired thither by special 
mail steamer from Vera Cruz to Sisal, and, with a single 
native guide, explored a large part of that remarkable penin- 
sular, spending some time in Merida, Campeachy and Cham- 
poton, and visiting a large number of villas, towns, pueblos 
and settlements, collecting a vast amount of facts, statistics 
and data for descriptions of the country, all of which, on his 
return to Orizaba late in January, 1866, were embodied in a 
detailed report to Commissioner Maury. 

In March, 1866, he received a similar commission to ex- 



OF GEN BEN McCULL OCIL 251 

plore and report upon the country on the Panuco river 
which, from several sources, rises on the interior table lands, 
cuts through the mountains and enters the gulf at Tampico. 
This duty was promptly and successfully done, after which, 
Colonel Brown united with several other Texians, lately ar- 
rived, in forming a settlement on the Tuspan river. In July, 
1886, he removed his family, wife, two sons and three little 
daughters, from Orizaba to that place, traveling more 
than three hundred miles over serpentine mountain trails, 
almost encircling the snow-capped peak of Orizaba, on the 
backs of mules and donkeys, escorted by Mexican arrieros, 
involving a long detour to avoid Papantla, then besieged by 
the "Liberals" (natives) and defended by a garrison of 
Austrians, who finally retreated. They resided on the 
Tuspan four years, cultivating the soil, and living among 
the primitive, kind hearted and simple-minded natives on 
the kindest terms, winning their friendships and confidence, 
and retaining both by fair dealing and adherence to the 
golden rule. Not a single incident occurred in all this time 
to mar this peaceful and happy relation. 

In the spring of 1869 Colonel Brown visited Texas and 
thence proceeded to New York and New England on a mis- 
sion in relation to the purchase of improved arms for the 
Mexican government. From New York he returned by sea 
to Vera Cruz, spending some time in Havana and Sisal, 
having in his charge Luis ard Felipe, two sons of Gen. 
Felipe de Berriozabel, of the Mexican army, who had been at 
school on the Hudson. They proceeded to Mexico, where 
Colonel Brown remained nine months. 

Up to this period he had written many letters to the Hous- 
ton Telegraph and Galveston News in regard to Mexico and 
her struggles for constitutional liberty, and descriptive of the 
Tuspan and other regions of country. In 1857 he published 
a small volume on these subjects entitled, "Two Years in 
Mexico.' ' By careful research he had become deeply inter- 
ested in the efforts of Mexico to attain good government, and 
rejoiced to find that she had made great advances, over im- 
mense obstacles, and through many of her sons, had illus- 
trated a patriotism worthy of the admiration of freemen 
everywhere. He yet continues to rejoice at the auspicious 



252 THE LIFE AND SER VICES 

strides that that long oppressed and misruled people have 
made toward enlightened liberty, regulated by law. 

While dwelling in the capital city he became familiar with 
a reform then becoming strong; a struggle for religious lib- 
erty, general education, constitutional safeguards, with many 
organizations at war with the corruptious and exactions of 
the established church, and the establishment of a worship 
based upon the Bible only. In this movement, as a key to 
the elevation, enlightenment and liberation of the masses of 
the people from the most servile degradation and superstition, 
he became deeply interested, of which more hereafter. 

He was a constant contributor to the Two Republics 
newspaper on subjects affecting the prosperity and develop- 
ment of the country and nearly all such articles were trans, 
lated and highly comrrlended in the Liberal Mexican press, 
whereby he was thrown in association with the leaders of that 
great party at the capitol. 

When the Hon. William H. Seward visited the capitol, 
as the guest of the republic, the desire was expressed both by 
the American minister, Hon. Thomas H. Nelson, and the 
minister of foreign relations, that there should be no distinc- 
tion in courtesies between Northern and Southern Americans 
in the city, and the confederates responded as American citi- 
zens in a foreign land, -joining with the union men, in inviting 
Mr. Seward and paying their respects to the " nation's 
guest." Colonel Brown was an invited guest at the dinner 
given Mr. Seward by Minister Nelson, Minister Romero, of 
the Mexican cabinet, and by President Juarez, in the hall of 
embassadors in the national palace. It is but just to say, 
also, that Mr. Seward expressed sincere gratification at 
meeting the confederates on these occasions, and had daily 
intercourse with them during his stay in the city. 

In March, 1870, Colonel Brown left Mexico, by steamer 
from Vera Cruz via Tampico, for New Orleans, soon re- 
joined by his family in the latter city, who came by sail from 
Tuxpan. Some two months later they proceeded to In- 
dianola, Texas, but he proceeded at once to New York on 
private business. He was, however, employed by a society 
in that city to deliver a series of lectures in the Northern 
states and New England, in aid of the reform societ} in 



OF GEN BEN McCULLOCIL 253 

Mexico, previously referred to. He was occupied in this 
work from April until November, delivering over a hundred 
addresses in Bostdn, Gloucester, Worcester, Pittsfield, Spring- 
field, North Adams, Charleston, Charlestovvn, Chelsea, 
Roxbury, Lynn, Cambridge and Milford, in Massachusetts; 
New York, Brooklyn and several places on Long Island 
and Staten Island, Albany, Illion, Syracuse, Auburn, Seneca 
Falls, Geneva, Phelps, Benton Centre, Canandaigua, 
Newark, Manchester, Lyons and other places in New York ; 
Milford in Pennsylvania ; Newark, Passaic, Hoboken and 
other places in New Jersey ; Baltimore and neighboring 
towns in Maryland ; Hartford, Conn., and finally St. Louis, 
in Missouri, from which a liberal amount was raised in aid 
of the cause. But he declined further service, though urged 
thereto, in order to rejoin and locate his family in Texas. 
While in St. Louis, he visited the friend to whom in early 
boyhood he owed so much and to whom his heart ever turns 
in grateful affection, Mrs. Elizabeth M. Chambers. 

He rejoined his family at Indianola, Texas, in January, 
1S71, having traveled during the year, by land and sea, over 
nineteen thousand miles. 

On the 17th of July, 1S71, restored to health, but bereft 
of the comfortable estate owned at the beginning of the war, 
he located permanently in Dallas, Texas, just one year before 
the first railway reached that place, having all his family 
with him excepting Julius, who, having studied medicine re- 
turned to practice, temporarily, in Mexco, but rejoined the 
family in Dallas in May, 1S73, and died in the month 
of June following. The second son, Pierre Mitchel 
Brown, served acceptably as deputy district clerk; married 
happily and died on the 19th of May, 1S76. The three 
daughters, Clara, Lizzie and Marion Taylor, are yet spared, 
the former, the_wife of Mr. Thomas B. Mitchel, with three 
little children, having only tocross the street to be with their 
grandparents. 

Up to the time of his return from Mexico, Colonel 
Brown had in no wise publicly touched upon the political 
condition of the country since the war. During the progress 
of the great struggle, he maintained that if the South was 
ovei thrown it must submit to the consequences as dictated 



254 THE LIFE AND SER VICES 

by the victorious section. If the North was sincere in its 
profession of fighting only for the preservation of the Union, 
and acted in good faith, the Confederate States would be 
speedily restored to the Union and peace would reign, minus 
the institution of slavery; for he never believed the vic- 
torious North would forego such an opportunity for its de- 
struction. The harsh course adopted, and the humiliations 
poured upon the South, need not be rehearsed. But he felt 
at the time, and yet believes, that much of the persecuting 
spirit manifested owed its origin, however unjustly to the 
South, to the cold-blooded and shocking assassination of 
President Lincoln. 

So iong as in voluntary exile he claimed no right to par- 
ticipate in the discussion of these questions. Nor after his 
return, until the state was declared restored to its rights in 
the Union and her people enfranchised, which two events 
transpired a short time before his location in Dallas, and then 
only did he feel willing to discuss in any public manner 
the questions growing out of them ; nor had he any desire 
for so figuring, being anxious for a quiet future and the sup- 
port of his family. But he found the great body of good 
citizens around him in a state of anxious unrest and forebod- 
ing — thousands refusing to comply with the harsh registra- 
tion laws enacted by the first legislature under reconstruction 
— largely a venal body, in no wise representing the true cit- 
izenship of the country, and unless they did so comply, it 
was impossible to vote out corrupt and vote in honest men. 
Reluctantly, and only under a solemn sense of duty, he ad_ 
dressed the people at several large gatherings, urging them 
to register and to vote, which was followed by almost uni- 
versal compliance. 

On a careful study of the laws enacted at the two pre- 
ceding sessions of that legislature — for it held a third still 
later — he was astounded at the corruption and venality and 
the despotism embodied in them, covering the appointing 
power of the governor, (elected over a largely disfranchised 
people) the creation of a mercenary mounted state police, 
a tyrannical and iniquitous registration and election law, a 
servile judiciary (with some honorable exceptions), a school 
system "conceived in sin and brought forth in iniquity," 



OF GEN BEN McCULLOCH. 255 

fastening upon the public treasury an organized horde of 
pretenders and imposters, and destined, unless wiped from 
the statute books, to bankrupt the state ; a virtual standing 
army, subject to the behest of the governor ; armed mercen- 
aries at the voting precincts, and kindred enactments worthy 
only of unscrupulous, base and corrupt partisans. More 
than this, fastening upon the state a bonded debt of twelve 
millions of dollars, to two railroad companies, for which it 
was boldly charged, and never denied, that many sold their 
votes. 

Colonel Brown, from his recent extended- travels and in- 
tercourse in that section, could net believe that the Northern 
people, if properly informed of these monstrous iniquities, 
would toleate them. Duly impressed with this -conviction 
he addressed an open letter, through the St. Louis Republi- 
can, to the Hon. Carl Schurz, senator from Missouri, setting 
forth in minute detail all these facts, with extracts from the 
laws, copies of orders under them, tables showing the num- 
ber of appointments lodged in the hands of the governor, 
the vast number of salaried sinecures sucking the substance of 
the people, the disarming of the people and arming of pen- 
sioned ruffians to ride over the country intimidating, robbing 
and of times murdering the defenseless. Every statement 
was substantiated from the record, and a respectful, but earn- 
est appeal made to the Northern people to behold these out- 
rages, and, so far as in their power, aid in their suppression. 
Urging farther, that we had surrendered in good faith, hon- 
orably kept our plight, and desired to live in peace. 

This letter was published in extenso in the Chicago Times, 
Springfield (Mass.) Republican, Boston Post and Herald, 
the New York Tribune, World, Evening Post, Express, 
and other leading papers of the North and West, and pro- 
duced a profound impression. That it deeply affected many 
leading men is a well known fact, and it was believed that 
it affected largely the liberal Republican sentiment of the 
North. 

The arraignment fell with terrible force on the guilty 
authors of the pernicious measures, many of whom soon dis- 
appeared into merited oblivion. 

When the canvass opened in 1S72, Colonel Brown was 



256 THE LIFE AND SEE VICES 

unanimously nominated, by the Democratic party, for the 
House of Representatives from the district of Dallas, Collin 
and Tarrant, and in November was elected by a majority of 
over two thousand, his colleagues being Messrs. Edward 
Chambers, of Collin, and Kleber M. Van Zandt, of Tarrant, 
gentlemen of recognized ability and attested fidelity. The 
session of that Legislature constituted an epoch in the his- 
tory of the state, and continued five months and two days. 
The Governor was the recognized chief of the party, enacting 
all the reprehensible measures complained of. The Senate, 
half of whom held over from the offending legislature, was 
nearly equally divided, but the House, fresh from the re- 
enfranchised people, was overwhelmingly Democratic. 

Hence to achieve relief and wipe out or to modify the 
oppressive measures required patience, wisdom and resolute 
perseverance. These virtues were happily combined in that 
memorable representative body, of which the veteran, M. 
D. K. Taylor, was speaker, while among its members sat 
John Ireland, of Guadalupe ; Geo. W. Smith, of Colorado ; 
A. S. Broaddus, of Burleson; A. J. Booty, of Panola; 
Robert H. Gaston, of Smith ; Thomas M. Joseph, of Gal- 
veston ; M. E. Kleburg, of De Witt, D. M. Pendergrast, 
of Limestone ; Dr. Frank Rainey, of Anderson ; Wm. A. 
Shaw, of Red River; Wm. D. Wood, of Leon; Preston 
Rose Scott, of Cass; Leonidas J. Story, of Caldwell; Al- 
fred S. Thurmond, of Aransas; W. H. Trollinger, of 
Grayson; A. T. Watts, of Polk; Clinton M. Winkler,- of 
Navarro, and many others worthy to sit in such an assembly. 

While that body accomplished a glorious mission in re- 
moving, greatly modifying or paving the way for the early 
removal of many vicious measures, it will be conceded by 
all that no member labored more assiduously or successfully 
to that end than Colonel Brown. It was said by his asso- 
ciates that he never seemed to sleep, but was ever at work, 
rejecting everything not necessary to the great ends sought. 
Regularly on several committees, he was also chairman of 
several important special ones, including the joint committee 
for re-apportioning the state into senatorial and representa- 
tive districts, a delicate and difficult labor, chiefly performed 
by him, as approved by the joint committee and enacted into 



OF GEN BEN McCULLOCIL 257 

law by the legislature. To him and Mr. Ireland (now gov- 
ernor) more than all others, was due that act of self-abne- 
gation declaring that this legislature should have been elected 
in 1871 instead of 1S72 ; that, therefore, they were elected 
in the middle of a constitutional term of two years ; and 
that their successors should be elected in November, 1873, 
instead of 1S74. The opposite view was held by the official 
wrongdoers and their partisans, who were responsible for 
this anomaly in order to perpetuate their power a year longer. 
The whole state seemed in error on this question — some 
grave and discreet men dreading it as a dangerous step, tend- 
ing to the anarchy then existing in Louisiana, till Colonel 
Brown, in a communication to the Galveston News, to which 
he secured the endorsement of sixty-one (two-thirds) of the 
house, represented the constitutional question in a light so 
clear and overwhelming, that even the opposing party were 
silenced, and the country rejoiced at the early opportunity of 
entirely and forever escaping from the shackles fastened upon 
it. The wisdom of the course was triumphantly and per- 
manently and peacefully vindicated at the election in No- 
vember, 1S73, and since the indnction into office in January, 
1S74, of the state, legislative and county officers then elected, 
Texas has been once more a state of the Union, on an equal 
footing with the original thirteen states. 

Colonel Brown reached home, care-worn and wearied, 
but relieved of a long-felt anxiety, on the 7th day of June, 
1873, to find his eldst son, Julius, recently returned from 
Mexico, very sick, and to witness his death on the 9th. 
This first death in the family was a shock from which he was 
long in recovering, and he withdrew as much as possible 
from the public to the quiet of his family. 

In 1875 he was brought forward as a candidate for the 
constitutional convention for the counties of Dallas, Tarrant 
and Ellis. There were no party nominations, but nine or 
ten candidates, and three to be elected. He was elected by 
a heavy majority, having as colleagues Hon. John W. Ferris, 
of Ellis, and Col. Nicholas H. Darnell, of Tarrant. 

Great objections existed to the reconstruction constitution 
enacted in 1869, and put into effect on the 30th of April, 



258 THE LIFE AND SERVICES 

1870. It was under it that all the abuses heretofore men- 
tioned were enacted and provided for by the Twelfth Legis- 
lature, during its three sessions, terminating with the year 
1S71. The public demand was imperative for a constitution 
that would guarantee an economical and honest administra- 
tion of the government — the protection of the people with- 
out distinction of race or color — and no espionage upon or 
invasion of private rights not absolutely necessary to the 
security of society, and then only under the sanction and 
safeguards of law. In the personnel of the convention was. 
found abundant guarantees of these results. Ninety repre- 
sentative men composed the assemblage. As in former 
deliberative bodies Colonel Brown was a laborious worker 
in this, wasting no time in useless debate. He served on 
several committees and was chairman of two, one being that 
on the style and arrangement of the constitution in its final 
amendment. 

The constitution was ratified by 80,000 majority of the 
people and went into effect on the i8thof April, 1876. It has 
proven acceptable to the people and been found defective in 
only a few points, growing out of unforeseen changes in the 
condition of the state. That it secured the material reforms 
demanded by the country cannot be denied. 

The death of his second and last son, on the 19th of May, 
1876, was another severe blow to him and he again withdrew, 
for a time, into seclusion. 

In 1877 and again in 1879 he was on the frontier superin- 
tending the sub-division into quarter-sections of large bodies 
of county school lands, his wife and daughters accompanying 
him in the former year. 

In 1880-81 he was employed as revising editor of the 
<f Encylcopaedia of the New West," devoted to biography, 
descriptive sketches and material progress of Texas, Arkan- 
sas, Colorado, New Mexico and the Cherokee Nation. It 
contains, besides portraits of many distinguished men, diap- 
ers pertaining to Texas, 382 ; to Arkansas, 154 ; to Colo- 
rado, 62 ; to New Mexico, 23 ; to the Cherokee Nation, 6 — 
total, 628. Of these Colonel Brown, from notes furnished, 
revised or wrote in full about 450, besides contributing fifty- 
six original articles, among which are "Texas and its His- 



OF GEN. BEN McCULLOCIL 259 

tory," "Growth of Texas," "One Hundred Old Texians," 
"Texas and Pacific Railroad, " "Railroad Lands in Texas," 
"Railroads in Texas," sketches of the cities of San Antonio, 
Waco, Fort Worth, Dallas and Waxahachie, in distinct arti- 
cles ; memoirs of Gen. Sam Houston, Gen. Mirabeau B. 
Lamar, Col. James Bowie, Don Lorenzo De Zavala, Gen. 
Ben McCulloch, the article "Texan or Texian, Which?" 
proving by every act, private, official, editorial and diplo- 
matic, that the universally accepted term among the people 
and functionaries under the province, republic and state of 
Texas, until recent liberties taken by innovation, was 
"Texian," and should be so continued. 

In the autumn of 1S81 Colonel Brown was appointed by 
the governor commissioner on the part of the state to super- 
intend the location and survey of 300 leagues of land, from 
the public domain, to be held by the state in trust as school 
land, four leagues eacji, to all the unorganized counties then 
existing or thereafter created. He entered upon this duty 
early in 1882, and was occupied nearly eight months locating 
the lands on the "Staked Plains," in the unsettled counties 
of Hockley, Cochran, Bailey, Lamb, Martin, Gaines and 
Dawson, the whole being done with the greatest care, cor- 
ners established by prominent and permanent monuments, 
to the satisfaction of the governor and state board, at con- 
siderably less expense than the appropriation for that purpose. 

This is the last public service rendered by Col. Brown, 
forty-four years after he first, a boy of 19, went out in de- 
fence of the frontier of Texas. 

It will be seen that in all these years, in storm and sun- 
shine, in sickness and health, his pen has not been idle. In 
thousands of cases he has furnished contributions to the press 
of the country on practical questions of public interest, and 
his productions will be scrutinized in vain to find an article 
or deliberate utterance in antagonism to public or private 
virtue, or unfaithful to the the renown or glory ot Texas. 

Since reconstruction in fact, he has labored on all proper 
occasions for a return to fraternal feelings between the sec- 
tions, and has rejoiced at every step in that direction. He 
has labored to encourge immigration from the north, and west, 
as well as Europe. Holding the negro population wholly 



260 



THE LIFE, &c, OF GEN. McCULLOCH. 



blameless, he has consistently championed all their rights -under 
the amended Constitution. Col. Brown resides at Dallas, Texas, 
and is engaged in writing a history of Texas. 




PHOTOGRAPHS 
of Ben McCulloch 




This is probably the best known photograph of Ben 
McCulloch. It is from the famous Rose Collection and is 
used through the courtesy of Mr. Ed Bartholomew, the 
Frontier Book Company, Houston, Texas. 








riJWH 



This photograph is from John Henry Brown, Indian 
Wars and Pioneers of Texas, and is used through the 
courtesy of the Archives Division of the State Library, 
Austin, Texas. Photograph copied by O. V. Koen Studios, 
Austin, Texas. 




This photograph of Ben McCulloch in uniform is from 
Evans, Confederate Military History, Volume II. Photograph 
copied by O. V. Koen Studios, Austin, Texas. 



*/*•'&*"* 








Ben McCulloch's monument in the State Cemetery, Aus- 
tin, Texas. The inscription reads: 



HERE 



REST 



FRANCES LENOIR McCULLOCH 

AND HER SON 

BENJAMIN McCULLOCH 

TWO OF THE SONS OF ALEXANDER AND FRANCES LENOIR 
McCULLOCH • BENJAMIN AND HENRY EUSTACE • WERE 
BRIGADIER GENERALS IN THE CONFEDERATE ARMY 

FRANCES LENOIR McCULLOCH WAS BORN APRIL 11 • 1780 
DIED IN ELLIS COUNTY • TEXAS • MAY 10 • 1866 

BENJAMIN McCULLOCH WAS BORN IN TENNESSEE 
NOVEMBER 11 • 1811 • • PRIVATE IN THE BATTLE OF 
SAN JACINTO APRIL 21 • 1836 • • KILLED IN THE 
BATTLE OF ELK HORN • ARKANSAS • MARCH 7 • 1862 WHILE 
A BRIGADIER GENERAL IN THE CONFEDERATE ARMY 



K01251 555^ 



RQ1251 252-11